Education News

Opening Scientific Session Kicks off ASAM Virtual 2020

by | Apr 07, 2020

The ASAM Virtual 2020 officially began with the Opening Scientific Session and Distinguished Scientific Lecture. This session, moderated by ASAM President Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, took place Friday, April 3rd. This year’s three speakers helped motivate and energize attendees as this year’s virtual experience got underway.

Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH, is the director of the newly created Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP) at the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. He is responsible for monitoring trends in the opioid epidemic and other emerging drug threats as well identifying and scaling up prevention activities to address the evolving drug crisis.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Baldwin served as the director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention for 11 years, where he helped established the initial CDC response to the prescription opioid overdose epidemic. As the scope, scale, and complexity of America’s drug overdose epidemic changed, the Division of Overdose Prevention was created to serve as a necessary and essential focal point to CDC’s more expansive and diversified work in the area. He has been at CDC for more than 20 years. 

Hendree Jones, PhD, spoke as this year’s R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award Winner.

Dr. Jones is the executive director of UNC Horizons and professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized expert in the development and examination of behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for pregnant women and their children in risky life situations.

“I am going to be talking about behavioral as well as pharmacological interventions that we have developed and tested for relative safety and efficacy for women, particularly pregnant and parenting women,” she said. “I’ll also talk about some of the longer term effects, both risks and resilience factors of children who have been prenatally exposed to different substances, including opioid, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and tobacco.”

Dr. Jones has received continuous NIH funding since 1994, won several awards, written more than 195 publications, authored two books, and written multiple textbook chapters on the topic of pregnancy and addiction. She is also the lead author of the MOTHER study. She is a professor for UNC Chapel Hill, and executive director of UNC Horizons, an addiction treatment program for pregnant and/or parenting women and their children.

She said she’s honored to be this year’s distinguished scientist.

“I was beyond excited, humbled and honored to receive the award,” she said. “I don’t have the words to express the gratitude and appreciation I feel toward ASAM and I’m walking on air with excitement to present my talk.”

New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka is this year’s Media Award winner. Krosoczka creates books with humor, heart, and a deep respect for his young readers — qualities that have made his titles perennial favorites on the bookshelves of homes, libraries, and bookstores. In 2018, he published his first book for adult readers, Hey, Kiddo, a graphic memoir of his childhood in which he described growing up in a family that grappled with addiction.

In 2019, his illustration of a late pioneer in addiction treatment was featured as a “Google Doodle,” the unique illustration that the internet giant sometimes uses in place of its logo on its homepage to celebrate special dates, achievements and historical figures. First published at the age of twenty-three, Krosoczka has more than thirty published books to his credit.

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