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ASAM Honors Recipients of 2019 Public Policy Award

February 21, 2019
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is pleased to honor Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA-05) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) with the 2019 ASAM Public Policy Award. The ASAM Public Policy Award is presented each year to elected officials who have effectively advanced public policies that promote the health of Americans, especially persons with addictions; addiction medicine physicians; the education of physicians and medical trainees regarding substance use and addiction; or recognition of the practice of addiction medicine.

“Representative Clark championed a new loan repayment program which was authorized in last year’s landmark opioid bill, H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act,” said Kelly J. Clark, MD, MBA, DFAPA, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “We are excited to recognize Representative Clark’s leadership by honoring her with ASAM’s 2019 Public Policy Award. Creating new loan repayment opportunities for addiction professionals will help increase the number of dedicated and well-trained treatment providers in high-need communities and expand access to care for individuals struggling with substance use disorder.”

"We are also thrilled to recognize Senator Portman with ASAM’s 2019 ASAM Public Policy Award for his leadership last year in spearheading parts of H.R. 6,” said Clark. “His work will allow increased access to buprenorphine training for student doctors and allow facilities over 16 beds which follow evidence-based practices to become eligible for payment, which otherwise would not be allowed due to the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion.”

Representative Clark and Senator Portman will be honored at the Policy Plenary at the ASAM 50th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Each year, at its Annual Conference, ASAM recognizes the innovators and leaders who have committed their efforts to treating addiction and saving lives by presenting prestigious awards to physicians and important leaders within the field of addiction medicine. ASAM acknowledges and honors awardees for their service and contributions to the advancement of addiction medicine, public policy, and education. Learn more about ASAM’s other 2019 awardees here.