About Us

Audrey M. Kern, MD, DFASAM

Candidate for Region III Director

Biography and Statement

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1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

Since my first engagement in the field of addiction medicine over twenty years ago, I have been passionate about advancing new and more effective treatments for patients with addictions.

In 2002, as it was just available in this country, I was an early adopter of buprenorphine. Through my work as Medical Director for the Department of Corrections in Vermont I made early inroads into the use of medication to treat people with opioid use disorder during incarceration and as they transitioned out of the criminal justice system.

My work as Medical Director at the Addiction Research Center at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth focused on exploring novel treatments for alcohol use disorder. I provided leadership in design and coordination of multi-center NIAAA trials with clinic sites in New Hampshire and throughout the country, with an aim of increasing treatment options for AUD. As a participating physician with the Vermont Department of Health, I was involved in starting the Hub-and -Spoke model of care delivery as a partner in The Learning Collaborative. The Learning Collaborative is a Vermont state-wide program providing patient-centered training in addiction care and consultation for practices providing office-based opioid therapy. It was a collaboration between the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Blueprint for Health Project and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The project was formed as a public-private statewide program designed to address delivery of health care to reduce overall health care costs. Primary care providers were mentored to create health teams and develop a comprehensive treatment approach for individual patients, helping patients with addictions manage their illness more cost effectively. I mentored and trained medical practitioners who care for patients receiving medication assisted therapy in family practices and community health teams with the goal of promoting an integrated health system for addictions treatment across the state of Vermont. I served as a resource for evidence-based practices for addiction treatment for primary care and community-based service providers throughout Vermont.

I continue implement new, novel treatments, adding tools to the toolbox for treatment providers to help those with addiction disorders, in my current role as Medical Director at a digital technology company. I am helping to pioneer software as a medical device and a new treatment modality through the use of digital therapeutics, which I believe hold great promise for the treatment of our patients struggling with addiction.

2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

I have deep roots in Region 3, having lived and/or worked in each of the six New England states throughout the course of my career. I grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Connecticut. I have worked in Vermont and in Maine and have lived in Rhode Island. I now work in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and currently serve as President of Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine, representing Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I am attuned to the specific problems and needs of patients and providers of addiction care in each of these states; what they share in common and what makes each distinctly unique.

I am motivated to serve as Regional Director because I feel I have a role to play in helping the four Region 3 Chapters in terms of integration of services and pooling of resources, sharing knowledge and benefitting from inter-reliance within our region. Some of our regions’ chapters are more established than others, they all have different resources and needs. I see the role of Regional Director as a bridge not only between chapters but also between the region and the National organization, facilitating resolving concerns and issues to ensure the growth and vitality of each.

Through my tenure as President of NNESAM, I have first-hand experienced some of the challenges that ASAM Chapters face. As a volunteer group of busy professionals, Chapter leadership is taking on the formidable task of helping to increase access to care and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating professionals and the public, supporting research, policy, advocacy and prevention at a time when the relevancy of our work could not be higher. To make our individual chapters effective, we look to our national organization for support in many ways, whether it be assistance with membership, updates on regional and national policy and advocacy issues, or continuing education. There is truth in the saying “We are stronger together”. It would be a privilege to serve as Regional Director for Region 3.

Biographical Sketch

Audrey Kern, MD, DFASAM Dr. Kern is a diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. She currently serves as Global Medical Director at Pear Therapeutics as an expert in Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Use Disorder implementing the development of Prescription Digital Therapeutics as software-based treatments for SUD and OUD. In addition to this work, she maintains a clinical practice in New Hampshire, treating outpatients receiving medically assisted treatment for addiction disorders.

Dr. Kern is an active leader within the American Society of Addiction Medicine. She is Immediate Past President of the Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine, representing Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. She has made significant contributions to the field of addiction medicine.

As Medical Director for the Addiction Research Center at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Dr. Kern facilitated the design and coordination of NIH and industry-sponsored multi-center trials at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and other clinic sites in New Hampshire and throughout the country, with a focus on increasing treatment options for alcoholism. During her tenure at the Addiction Treatment Program at Dartmouth, she was a collaborating physician in the Vermont Medication Assisted Treatment Learning Collaborative, helping to pioneer the Hub and Spoke model of addiction health care delivery. As a member of the Perinatal Treatment Program, she provided specialized treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders. She has served in multiple leadership roles including Medical Director for the State of Vermont Department of Corrections, providing leadership and oversight in healthcare services for all inmates in the State of Vermont. As Medical Director for Health Care Resource Centers, methadone treatment programs in New Hampshire, and the Road to a Better Life programs, she oversaw the evaluation, coordination and ongoing care for addictions patients in outpatient-based opioid treatment.

Dr. Kern earned her Medical Degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla NY and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at Albany Medical Center in Albany NY. She was the recipient of the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship and served in the United States Air Force from 1985 through 1997. She was as an Emergency Physician at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrew Air Force Base, Washington D.C. and later at Walter Reed Army Hospital, as well as a Clinical Instructor at the Uniformed Service University of Health Services in Bethesda, MD.

She received the United States Air Force Medal for Meritorious Service. Dr. Kern was awarded an Osherson Fellowship at the Alonso Center for Psychodynamics at the Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, where she completed a fellowship in 2013 with a study focus on psychodynamic research, theory and clinical application to the field of addictions.