The Faculty

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Petros Levounis, MD, MA, FASAM (Co-Course Director)

Chair, Psychiatry
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Dr Levounis is a psychiatrist and recently became chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers NJ Medical School and Chief of Service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Levounis came to Rutgers from Columbia University where he served as Director of the Addiction Institute of New York and Chief of Addiction Psychiatry at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals from 2002 to 2013. 

Dr. Levounis graduated from the Columbia University residency training program in Psychiatry earning the National Institute of Mental Health Outstanding Resident Award and went on to complete his fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at New York University under the mentorship of Dr. Marc Galanter.

Dr. Levounis is board-certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Levounis has authored/edited 9 books and is currently working on the American Psychiatric Publishing’s “Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment,” which is expected to be available in early 2016.


Timothy K. Brennan, MD, MPH

Director, Fellowship in Addiction Medicine
Addiction Institute of New York, Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital

Timothy Brennan, MD, MPH is an Addiction Medicine physician and Pediatrician. He is the Director of the Fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the Addiction Institute of New York at Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. He completed a Fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the Addiction Institute of New York, a Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, a Residency in Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College / New York Presbyterian Hospital, and an Internship in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital. He is the Co-Editor of Essentials of Addiction Medicine. He is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and Pediatrics.

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Paul H. Earley, MD, FASAM, 

Earley Consultancy, LLC

Dr. Earley has been an Addiction Medicine Physician for 30 years. He treats all types of addictive disorders and specializes in the assessment and treatment of health care professionals. As a therapist, he works with patients already in recovery, providing long term therapy for those who suffer from this disease.  His professional expertise extends to advocacy for professionals before agencies and licensing boards.

 Dr. Earley is a dynamic speaker and educator; he speaks and trains on topics of addiction, its treatment and addiction among health care professionals. In addition, he trains therapists about the neurobiological basis of addiction and psychotherapy. In his travels, he has provided training in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland.

 He is the author numerous books and articles on addiction and its treatment, including The Cocaine Recovery Book. He has contributed to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Textbook: Principles of Addiction Medicine, as author of the chapter: Physician Health Programs and Addiction among Physicians.  He is also a minor author to the ASAM Criteria.

His work was featured in the documentary series on addiction entitled Close to Home by Bill Moyers. Dr. Earley is a Fellow of ASAM and has been on the board of ASAM for over 14 years in several capacities and is currently a director-at-large. He has been the Medical Director of two nationally acclaimed addiction programs specializing in the care of addicted health care professionals. Currently, he is the Medical Director of the Georgia Professionals Health Program, Inc. and a principal with Earley Consultancy, LLC, a training and consulting firm.

Mirela Feurdean, MD

Assistant Professor
Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School

Mirela Feurdean MD was born and raised in Romania, where she obtained her medical school diploma and Board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She moved to USA in 2001, where she completed residency training in Internal Medicine at New York Medical College, and started a new career in medical education and care for the underserved. As such, she was exposed to most clinical aspects of addiction medicine, from in hospital detoxification and stabilization to medical complications of drug addictions. She completed a mini-fellowship in addiction medicine at Rutgers –New Jersey Medical School, and is currently Board certified in both Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Feurdean is currently Assistant Professor at Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School, and serves as the Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program and director of Ambulatory Care education. She has championed the introduction of a new substance use disorder curriculum for residents, and is actively involved in resident and student education, as well as community outreach programs at NJMS. She wrote a few chapters for the upcoming “Principles of Addiction medicine- the Essentials” and "APP Guide to the Assessment and Treatment of Addiction".

Her academic and research interests include use of Motivational Interviewing in Primary Care and the role of the internist and Patient Centered Medical Home model in the continuum of care for substance use disorders and chronic disease.

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James Finch, MD, FASAM

James Finch, MD obtained his medical training at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and his residency training in Family Medicine at Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania. Following a Faculty Development Fellowship at Duke University, he stayed on with the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program and with joint appointments in Family Medicine and Psychiatry, helped found and was Assistant Director of the Duke Addictions Program.  He is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the Immediate Past President of the NC Society of Addiction Medicine and the Director of Physician Education for the NC Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse.

After leaving Duke, Dr. Finch worked for many years in public sector mental health and substance abuse treatment and currently directs a private Addiction Medicine practice in Durham, NC called “Changes By Choice.”He has continued to be active in local, national and international training initiatives, including the PCSS mentoring systems for buprenorphine and other opoiods, the SAMHSA sponsored Safe Opioid Prescribing workshops, and ongoing NC SBIRT initiatives in primary care and emergency room settings. He is the Clinical Training Director for Project Lazarus Community Care NC, a statewide initiative for safer use of opioid and other controlled medications. 

Timothy W. Fong, MD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry
UCLA School of Medicine

Dr. Fong is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.  Dr. Fong completed his undergraduate and medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago.  He then came to UCLA and finished his residency in adult general psychiatry in 2002 and was the first accredited addiction psychiatry fellow at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (2002-2004). 

Currently, he is the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program.   The purpose of this program is to examine the underlying causes and clinical characteristics of problem and pathological gambling in an effort to develop effective, evidence-based treatment strategies.  

He is the Director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, a one-year program designed to provide a leading edge clinical and research training experience.

Dr. Fong’s research interests include gambling disorder, hypersexual disorder and improving quality of treatment for addictive disorders.

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David Galbis-Reig, MD

Director of Medical Services
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

David Galbis-Reig received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia in 1999. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2004. He is board certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has been the Director of Medical Services on the Inpatient Mental Health and Addiction Unit at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints since 2005 in which capacity he has passionately advocated for appropriate medical treatment of patients with mental health and addictive diseases. Dr. Galbis-Reig is currently also involved in numerous educational activities to decrease prescription drug abuse and decrease the burden of addiction to opioids in Racine and Kenosha Counties. He is an active member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the current secretary of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WiSAM), and a contributing author to the recently published ASAM white paper on the science of drug testing. He is a member of the Wisconsin Marijuana Prevention Ad-Hoc Committee of the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA). He is also an active member of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation.

Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, DFAPA

Immediate Past President
American Society of Addiction Medicine

Stuart Gitlow, MD, is Executive Director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY, which he started in 2005 to ensure medical student access to training that stimulates them to develop and maintain interest in working with patients with addiction. He serves as the Immediate Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and as ASAM’s Delegate to the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates. Dr. Gitlow is the Chair of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health.

 Dr. Gitlow is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a Courtesy Associate Professor at the University of Florida. His educational training took place at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and at Harvard Medical School. He formerly produced Health Channel and ABC programming for America Online.

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David Mee-Lee, MD

Senior Vice President
The Change Companies

David Mee-Lee, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). He trains and consults both nationally and internationally. Dr. Mee-Lee is Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria and is Senior Vice President of The Change Companies. He is also a Senior Fellow, Justice Programs Office (JPO) of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University, Washington, DC. Dr. Mee-Lee has over thirty years’ experience in person centered treatment and program development for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. 

Cara Poland, MD, Med

Faculty, Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine
Pine Rest / Michigan State University

Dr. Poland was trained in internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in addiction medicine at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She has an interest in educating physicians and physicians-in-training to improve care for patients with substance abuse and alcohol disorders. She is interested in medical student curriculum development and assessment, student well-being and identifying ways to improve the process of medical training.

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Ricardo Restrepo, MD, MPH

Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine
Substance Abuse Treatment Program-SATP/Buprenorphine Clinic Medical Director. VA Long Beach Healthcare System

Dr. Restrepo finished his medical school in Medellín, Colombia.  He then did his residency training in Psychiatry at Boston University Medical Center where he completed a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry. He received an MPH in Global Public Health from NYU in 2008, while working at St Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, where he was Director of the Addiction Psychopharmacology Clinic at the Addiction Institute of New York.

Since 2012, he works at the Long Beach VA Hospital, where he is the Medical Director of the SATP/Buprenorphine Clinic. Ricardo holds an academic position as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine. He teaches and supervises students, psychiatry and family medicine residents. He is a Board of Directors member at Mental Health America Los Angeles (MHA) and serves as committee member of the American Academy of Addiction Medicine (AAAP).

Ricardo's academic interests include the psychotherapy and psychopharmacology of addiction and the teaching of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. He is actively involved in issues related to transcultural psychiatry and behavioral addictions.He has worked with immigrant populations in the United States for over 15 years. As a  volunteer for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), he has participated in projects in the United States, Latin America and the Middle East. He has served as a United Nations Consultant since 2005.

Dr. Restrepo has written on questions of addiction and human rights. He is the co-author of texbooks on buprenorphine as well as women’s health and addiction, and he cooperated with the Translation of DSM-5 to Spanish. He is board re-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry.

Edwin A. Salsitz, MD, FASAM

Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Dr. Edwin A. Salsitz has been an attending physician at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Division of Chemical Dependency, since 1983, and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  He is the principal investigator of the Methadone Medical Maintenance (office-based methadone maintenance) research project.  Dr. Salsitz is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), as well as by the Board of Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease.  He has lectures frequently and has been published on a variety of addiction medicine topics.

Dr. Salsitz is a course director for ASAM sponsored buprenorphine trainings, and is a mentor in the PCSS-MAT and PCSS-O mentoring programs. He has co-chaired  the ASAM Review Course, the ASAM Common Threads Course, the ASAM State of the Art Course and  is a reviewer for the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Currently Dr. Salsitz is the chair of the ASAM REMS ER/LA Opioids committee. Dr. Salsitz is the Co-chair of the ASAM CME committee and Chair of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine CME and Education committee.

He was the recipient of the 2014 ASAM Annual Award

Dr. Salsitz is a member of the Medical Advisory Panel, for the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services.

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Kenneth Thompson, MD

Medical Director
Caron Foundation

Ken Thompson has worked in the field of addiction medicine for over 25 years mostly as a clinician and is currently the Medical Director of Caron Treatment Centers.  Ken would most like to be thought of as an Addiction Medicine clinician and educator who believes in the power of spiritual interventions as much as biologic interventions for the treatment of addiction.  Most recently, he helped establish an ABAM recognized Fellowship at Caron, a non-university, twelve step oriented residential treatment center, where this philosophy can be taught.   He has been involved in the care and follow-up of professionals including physicians and attorneys for much of his career. He was originally certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine in 1990 and had been a Past President of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and is Board Certified in both Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine. He had been instrumental in the development and opening of the Florida Recovery Center, the University of Florida College of Medicine's first addiction treatment facility that specialized in the treatment of impaired professionals and has been involved in the training of Fellows in Addiction Medicine since 1998. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in Department of Psychiatry at Pennsylvania State University.  He has a special interest in treatment of healthcare professionals, chronic pain and addiction, spirituality, and the therapeutic and diagnostic value of step work.

Timothy Wiegand, MD, DABAM, FACMT, FAACT

Director of Toxicology
University of Rochester Medicine

Tim Wiegand MD, DABAM, FACMT, FAACT was trained in internal medicine and completed fellowship training in Medical Toxicology at the University of California, San Francisco in 2006.  He was the Medical Director of the Rochester Poison Center until 2010. Dr Wiegand has been successful in developing a full time, bedside, medical toxicology consultation service and is very active in the practice of Addiction Medicine, having successfully completed his board certification recently.  In addition to his primary appointment as Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in Rochester, NY Dr. Wiegand serves as Medical Director for Huther Doyle Chemical Dependency treatment program in Rochester, NY and as detoxification specialist for Syracuse Behavioral Health in Rochester, NY.  Tim serves on the New York Society of Addiction Medicine (NYSAM) Board of Directors as the Communication Committee Chair and he was recently elected to the American College of Medical Toxicology Board of Directors to begin a 3 year term in October, 2015.  He currently serves as the chair of the Addiction Medicine Section for the American College of Medical Toxicology and he recently organized a very successful Addiction Medicine Academy for ACMT prior to their main Annual Scientific Meeting in Clearwater, Florida in March, 2015. Dr. Wiegand has presented for the ASAM Review Course on Pharmacology & Toxicology, MRO and drug testing principles at previous Review Course conferences.  

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Erin A. Zerbo, MD

Assistant Professor
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Erin Zerbo, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and the Associate Director of Medical Student Education. She will serve as Director of the Wellness Center at University Hospital when it opens in Fall 2015.

She received her B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, and her M.D. from New York University School of Medicine in 2007. She continued in a psychiatry residency at New York University, where she served as chief resident during her PGY-IV year and received the Harold I. Kaplan Memorial Award for excellence in teaching and the Wendy Rives Memorial Award for compassion in working with the severely mentally ill.  Following residency, she remained at NYU for a one-year fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry.

Prior to her faculty position at Rutgers, Dr. Zerbo served as the Associate Director of the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service at Bellevue Hospital and the Associate Director of the NYU Addiction Psychiatry fellowship.

Dr. Zerbo’s primary interest has always been the treatment of addiction in the context of public psychiatry.  She is especially interested in the pharmacotherapy of substance use disorders among underserved populations, and in addressing systemic barriers to integrated and continuous care.  Recent publications include a chapter entitled “Co-occurring Personality Disorders and Addiction” in The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine textbook, and an article accepted for publication in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry which explores how to improve attitudes of psychiatry residents toward patients with substance use disorders.