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09/16/2021

Proceedings of the Forum: Addressing Unconscious Bias and Disparities in Health Care: A Call to Action

This CME Outfitters Newsletter article focuses on historical and present-day sources of health care disparities as discussed in a trail-blazing, two-day, round-table seminar. The discussion included the effects that disparate health and health care have on vulnerable minority populations, and specific strategies to mitigate structural and interpersonal racism to counter these disparities and promote best practices for equitable patient treatment and outcomes.

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09/16/2021
Augustus A. White III, MD, PhD

Augustus A. White III

Prominent orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Augustus A. White III, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of a doctor and a librarian. After attending segregated schools in Memphis, White graduated from the private Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts, in 1953. White completed his pre-medical studies at Brown University in 1957, and in 1961, was the first African American graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Augustus A. White III, MD, PhD

Augustus A. White III

Ellen and Melvin Gordon Distinguished Professor of Medical Education Harvard Medical School

Prominent orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Augustus A. White III, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of a doctor and a librarian. After attending segregated schools in Memphis, White graduated from the private Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts, in 1953. White completed his pre-medical studies at Brown University in 1957, and in 1961, was the first African American graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Receiving his PhD in orthopedic biomechanics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, White became the first African American surgical resident at the Yale New Haven Hospital; he also served in Vietnam as a captain in the US Army Medical Corps, earning a Bronze Star.

Specializing in care of the spine, Dr. White worked at Harvard Medical School as a professor of orthopedic surgery and as the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medical Education. For thirteen years, White served as chief of the orthopedic surgery department at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston; he also founded the academic orthopedic program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

A noted author in his medical specialty, White co-wrote (with Dr. Manohar M. Panjabi) Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine and Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System. White also wrote Your Aching Back: A Doctor’s Guide to Relief; Back Care; Advances in Spinal Fusion: Molecular Science, Biomechanics and Clinical Management; and Clinical Biometrics of the Spine, a standard reference book for orthopedists. In 2006, Dr. White was awarded the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Diversity Award for his life’s work and his contributions to his field.

Monica Vela, MD, FACP

Monica Vela

Monica Vela, MD recently joined the University of Illinois College of Medicine as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence. She also serves as Associate Editor for JAMA Network Open.
Monica Vela, MD, FACP

Monica Vela

Monica Vela, MD recently joined the University of Illinois College of Medicine as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence. She also serves as Associate Editor for JAMA Network Open. She is the former Associate Vice Chair for Diversity and Associate Dean at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She has spent the last 16 years directing a required course for first year medical students entitled, “Health Disparities: Equity and Advocacy,” which provides a structural competency foundation and advocacy training. Her coursework is the only course in the extant literature shown to improve diversity of the medical school applicants and improve the cultural climate among medical students.

Dr. Vela has been selected by Pritzker students for a Favorite Faculty Award 9 times since 2010 for her teaching. Her research spans medical education on health disparities and care of limited-English proficiency patients, as well as diversity in the medical profession. In 2012, she won the American College of Physician’s National Award for Diversity and Access to Care. In 2014, she was awarded the Society of General Internal Medicine National Herbert Nickens Award for Diversity and Minority Health as well as the inaugural Alpha Omega Alpha Fellow in Leadership Award. Also that year, she was awarded the University of Chicago Distinguished Faculty Award for Community Service. She was awarded the 2019 University of Chicago Diversity Leadership Award and was honored during the University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration.

Jenna C. Lester, MD

Jenna C. Lester

Dr. Lester is a graduate of Harvard University and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She completed residency training in dermatology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and is board certified in dermatology.
Jenna C. Lester, MD

Jenna C. Lester

Assistant Professor

Dr. Lester is a graduate of Harvard University and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She completed residency training in dermatology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and is board certified in dermatology.

Dr. Lester is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at UCSF, where she practices and teaches general dermatology, and is the Founding Director of the Skin of Color Program. She has a particular interest in health care disparities in dermatology and improving access to specialty care for all patients. She was recently named a TED Fellow, where she continues her work to promote equity in dermatology education.

Otis W. Kirksey, PharmD, CDES, BC-ADM

Otis W. Kirksey

Dr. Otis Kirksey received both his B.S. and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Florida A&M University. He is a retired Professor of Pharmacy with over 25 years of experience in academia with specific focus in the area of pharmacy practice, diabetes, and primary care. His experience as a practicing pharmacist spans over almost 35 years and encompasses a variety of practice settings including hospital, community, and ambulatory pharmacy practice.
Otis W. Kirksey, PharmD, CDES, BC-ADM

Otis W. Kirksey

Director of Pharmacy Services Neighborhood Medical Center, Inc.

Dr. Otis Kirksey received both his B.S. and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Florida A&M University. He is a retired Professor of Pharmacy with over 25 years of experience in academia with specific focus in the area of pharmacy practice, diabetes, and primary care. His experience as a practicing pharmacist spans over almost 35 years and encompasses a variety of practice settings including hospital, community, and ambulatory pharmacy practice. Currently, he serves as the Director of Pharmacy Services for Neighborhood Medical Services, a federally qualified health center. Dr. Kirksey was recently awarded with the distinction of Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy Practice by Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

He is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM) as well as a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES). He is also a certified Lifestyle Coach as well as a Master Trainer for the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Dr. Kirksey has received funding for research from federal and private sponsors including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, the National Library of Medicine, and the Minority Health Professions Foundation. Dr. Kirksey has authored or co-authored over 20 manuscripts published in refereed and un-refereed journals and newspapers.

He currently serves as President-Elect of Health Care and Education for the American Diabetes Association. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and serves as the director of the Prince Hall Shriners National Community Health Initiative.

Hazel J. Harper, DDS, MPH, FACD

Hazel J. Harper

Dr. Hazel Harper is a graduate of Howard University College of Dentistry and the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She maintains a part-time private practice in general dentistry in Washington, DC. She is President and CEO of Hazel J. Harper & Associates, LLC, management consultants and President and Founder of Hear to HEAL, Inc., a non-profit to support interprofessional education, community groups, and student leadership.
Hazel J. Harper, DDS, MPH, FACD

Hazel J. Harper

Founding Director, NDA-HEALTH NOW

Dr. Hazel Harper is a graduate of Howard University College of Dentistry and the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She maintains a part-time private practice in general dentistry in Washington, DC. She is President and CEO of Hazel J. Harper & Associates, LLC, management consultants and President and Founder of Hear to HEAL, Inc., a non-profit to support interprofessional education, community groups, and student leadership.

She has served her profession in many leadership roles including: a member of President Bill Clinton’s Health Reform Task Force; National Spokesperson for the American Dental Association; Transition Teams of District of Columbia mayors Sharon Pratt Kelly and Marion Barry; and reviewer of the first ever Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in America, under the direction of US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher (2000). She has served on the Board of Directors of Oral Health America, the American Association of Women Dentists, the Ed Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, and the planning committees of the ADEA International Women’s Leadership Summits. She was on the Clinical Advisory Boards of Dentsply International, GlaxoSmithKline, Adec and Discus Dental, and the Editorial Board of the Woman Dentist Journal as well as the Editorial Advisory Board of Heart and Soul Magazine.

Dr. Harper is a woman of many firsts – the first woman President of the National Dental Association (1997), Chairman of the NDA Board of Trustees, and President of the Howard University College of Dentistry Alumni Association. She was one of the founders of the Student National Dental Association, longtime editor of National Dental Association (NDA) Journal and created many NDA programs including: The Women’s’ Health Symposium, NDA-Corporate Roundtable, and the Eddie G. Smith Leadership Institute. She co-founded and directed the Deamonte Driver Dental Project (DDDP), a school-based, mobile dental project in Prince George’s County, MD, named in memory of the 12-year-old boy who died in 2007 from untreated tooth decay. She is currently the Founding Director of the award-winning NDA-HEALTH NOW® Project and architect of the Inter-Professional Student Leaders Colloquium and Summit. Since Deamonte’s death, Dr. Harper has devoted her energies and creative talents to developing, implementing, and supporting interprofessional health education programs and community outreach events in cities across America and the world.

Her reputation for innovation and success has merited awards from several foundations including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Aetna Foundation, GE’s African American Forum, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the DentaQuest Foundation, and many others. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Medgar Evans College in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Harper lectures and writes extensively on eliminating health disparities, and in 2019, she was lead author of book chapters in Oral Health in America: Removing the Stain of Disparities, published by the American Public Health Association. She is a contributing author for the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health.

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Links, Incorporated, and enjoys traveling with her husband, Robert S. Johns.

Carmen Renee Green, MD

Carmen Renee Green

Carmen R. Green received her MD from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU CHM) and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) National Honor Medical Society. She completed an Anesthesiology residency, subspecialty training in Ambulatory and Obstetrical Anesthesia, and a Pain Medicine fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) as well as the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging Butler-Williams Scholar Program, Hedwig von Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program fellowship, and Mayday Pain & Society fellowship.
Carmen Renee Green, MD

Carmen Renee Green

Professor of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine

Carmen R. Green received her MD from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU CHM) and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) National Honor Medical Society. She completed an Anesthesiology residency, subspecialty training in Ambulatory and Obstetrical Anesthesia, and a Pain Medicine fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) as well as the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging Butler-Williams Scholar Program, Hedwig von Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program fellowship, and Mayday Pain & Society fellowship. Dr. Green was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) of the National Academies. Working in the US Senate’s Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee and the Children and Families Subcommittee, she helped draft the National Pain Care Policy Act, incorporated in the Affordable Care Act, and was thanked in the Congressional Record by Senator Kennedy for contributions to the FDA reauthorization, i.e. including gender and race variables to assess outcomes.

Dr. Green is a tenured Professor of Anesthesiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Health Management & Policy at the University of Michigan’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health, an attending physician in the Back and Pain Center, holds faculty appointments at the Institute for Social Research and Institute for Health Policy and Innovation, and is a faculty associate in the Program for Research on Black Americans, Depression Center, and Cancer Center, where she was elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Green is also an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, Gerontological Society of America, and Association of University Anesthesiologists. She is a faculty associate in the Program for Research on Black Americans, Depression Center, and Cancer Center. The inaugural Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusion at the UMHS, she is the Executive Director of the Healthier Black Elders Center and Co-Director of the Community Core for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research. Dr. Green was the founding chair for the American Pain Society’s Special Interest Group on Pain and Disparities and chair of the Public Policy Committee.

At the nexus of public health and health care quality, equity, and policy, her health policy relevant and health services research agenda focuses on pain and the social determinants of health. She is the author of germinal and seminal papers that poignantly reveal unequal treatment, disparities, and variability in decision-making, and diminished health care quality, revealing suboptimal access to health and pain care across the life course for women, minorities, and low-income people. An innovator, she often uses narrative medicine and photo voice techniques to promote empathy and healing. Dr. Green published a selective review focusing on the unequal burden of pain in Pain Medicine, which remains the most cited article in the journal’s history and was the guest editor for its special issue on disparities. She was the first to identify hospital security errors.

Dr. Green received several honors, including UMHS Employee of the Year, U-M Woman of Color of the Year for Human Relations, Consumers’ Checkbook’s Top 100 Doctors, Top 1% of Pain Doctors by US News and World Reports, Who’s Who in America, U-M Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award, John Liebeskind Pain Management Research Award, Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements, and MSU CHM Distinguished Alumni Award. Her federal and state board service includes NAM’s Health Care Services Board, Michigan Governor’s Pain and Symptom Advisory Committee, US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, and HHS Oversight Committee for the National Pain Strategy (Disparities Committee Co-Chair) as well as NIH’s Advisory Committee for the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development, Advisory Committee for Research on Women’s Health, and National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Green has made invited presentations across the globe, including the US Congress and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy. She has worked across the health professional pipeline to achieve a critical mass of minorities and women in academic medicine, biomedical sciences, and higher education. Her former students lead, teach, and inspire others.

An avid swimmer and genealogist, Carmen enjoys travel, photography, college football, and time with friends and family. She began writing poetry, plays, and books as a teen. Carmen also enjoys the creative arts, attending operas and recitals, and recently appeared as the Narrator and Lincoln in Aaron Copeland’s Lincoln’s Portrait with the U-M Life Sciences Orchestra at the historic Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor).

Joia A. Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG

Joia A. Crear-Perry

Joia A. Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG, is a physician, policy expert, thought leader, and advocate for transformational justice. As the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities.
Joia A. Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG

Joia A. Crear-Perry

Founder & President, National Birth Equity Collaborative

Joia A. Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG, is a physician, policy expert, thought leader, and advocate for transformational justice. As the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities.

She is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker who has been featured in national and international publications including Essence and Ms. Magazine. In 2020, Dr. Crear-Perry was honored by USA Today in its “Women of the Century” series and featured on ABC Nightline’s “Hear Her Voice”.

Dr. Crear-Perry has twice addressed the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to elevate the cause of gender diversity and urge a human rights framework toward addressing maternal mortality. A proud recipient of both the Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Heroes award and the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard University Global Visionary Award for Commitment to Advancing Women’s Health, Dr. Crear-Perry’s most notable efforts include the removal of race as a risk factor for illnesses including premature birth.

Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Birthing Project, Director of Women?s and Children’s Services at Jefferson Community Healthcare Center, and as the Director of Clinical Services for the City of New Orleans Health Department. In that role, she was responsible for four facilities that provided health care for the homeless, pediatric, WIC, and gynecologic services within the New Orleans clinical service area. Dr. Crear-Perry has been celebrated for her work improving the availability and utilization of affordable health care for New Orleans citizens post the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005.

Dr. Crear-Perry testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee as the Democratic witness in support of the only Maternal Health Bill signed into law under the Trump administration. She has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to work with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and develop a Standard for Respectful Maternity Care. She also serves on the National Quality Forum Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Committee and the Joint Commission Perinatal Safety Project Technical Advisory Panel.

Dr. Crear-Perry currently serves as a Principal at Health Equity Cypher and on the Board of Trustees for Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Community Catalyst, National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning, and the UCSF PTBi.

After completing undergraduate studies at Princeton University and Xavier University, Dr. Crear-Perry received her MD from Louisiana State University and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. She was also recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

She is married to Dr. Andre Perry and has three children: Jade, Carlos, and Robeson. Her love is her family; health equity is her passion; maternal and child health are her callings.

Marc Cohen, MD, FACC

Marc Cohen

Marc Cohen, MD, is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) in New Jersey, recognized by Newsweek as one of the world's best hospitals. Formerly, he was Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Director of Cardiology Fellowship Training at NBI for 17 years. He was part of the TAVR team at one of the most active Valve Centers in New Jersey; Dr. Cohen is currently Professor of Medicine at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.
Marc Cohen, MD, FACC

Marc Cohen

Chair of the Department of Medicine, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC)

Marc Cohen, MD, is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) in New Jersey, recognized by Newsweek as one of the world’s best hospitals. Formerly, he was Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Director of Cardiology Fellowship Training at NBI for 17 years. He was part of the TAVR team at one of the most active Valve Centers in New Jersey; Dr. Cohen is currently Professor of Medicine at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.

Dr. Cohen has been instrumental in the expansion and enhancement of the Department of Medicine, augmenting an award-winning veteran team. During his tenure, NBIMC has reached a 1,100-heart transplant milestone and 1,000 TAVRs. As one of the top Centers in the US, specialists in intracoronary imaging, heart transplant, mechanical circulation devices, advanced lung disease, and lung transplant are able to care for a full range of health care options from routine to advanced critical care. Dr. Cohen is very proud of the 100s of Fellows and residents that he mentored.

Prior to NBIMC, Dr. Cohen served as Chief of Cardiology and Director of Clinical Research at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and was director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab there for ten years. He received his MD with honors from the New York University School of Medicine, and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship in cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Board of Cardiovascular Diseases, and the subspecialty Board of Interventional Cardiology.

Dr. Cohen is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American College of Physicians, and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, and is a member of the Cardiovascular Health Advisory Panel to the Commissioner of Health of the State of New Jersey. He has participated in many clinical trials, serving as the lead investigator of the international, multicenter ESSENCE trial, ACUTE I, ACUTE II, TETAMI, SEPIA-PCI, and as the co-lead investigator for the PRISM trial.

Dr. Cohen has authored or coauthored more than 400 articles including more than 200 peer-reviewed original papers. He has been a member of the editorial boards of Journal of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Journal, American Journal of Cardiology, Journal of Invasive Cardiology, and the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis, and Coronary Revascularization Therapeutics.

Monica E. Peek

Monica Peek, MD, MPH, MSc is an Ellen H. Block Professor of Health Justice in the Department of Medicine.

Monica E. Peek

Monica Peek, MD, MPH, MSc is an Ellen H. Block Professor of Health Justice in the Department of Medicine. She is also the Associate Director, Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, and Director of Research, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. She is a practicing internist, medical educator, and clinician investigator. Her research pursues health equity and social justice, with a focus on promoting equitable doctor/patient relationships among racial minorities, integrating the medical and social needs of patients, and addressing health care discrimination and structural racism impacting health outcomes (e.g., diabetes, COVID-19). Dr. Peek has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and abstracts on health care disparities, diversity, and bias; has been the principal investigator of multiple grants to address health disparities; and has been invited to speak at numerous local and national medical meetings.

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Time to Listen: What the Experts Have to Say About Safe Opioid Prescribing and Addiction Treatment

Join a panel of faculty experts as they discuss pain management challenges, consequences, and educational development opportunities amid rising concerns of addiction and diversion.

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Steven P. Stanos

Dr. Stanos is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Anesthesia.

Steven P. Stanos

Steven P. Stanos, DO currently serves as Executive Medical Director of Rehabilitation and Performance Medicine, Swedish Pain Services at the Swedish Health System in Seattle, Washington. Aside from directing pain management services for the hospital system, he also leads Swedish’s pain rehabilitation center, Functional Restoration, an integral part of the pain medicine continuum of care. In addition to his work with Swedish Health System, he is active with committees work at Providence St. Joseph Health related to the system integration of pain management including primary and specialty care. Prior to joining Swedish and Providence, he served as medical director of the Center for Pain Management at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) Northwestern University Medical School from 2002-2014, and served as an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and program-co chair of the multidisciplinary pain fellowship.

Dr. Stanos is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Anesthesia.

Dr. Stanos is a Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Pain Medicine. He served as a panel member on the Service Delivery and Reimbursement work group for the National Pain Strategy, an invited consultant to the CDC for the CDC Opioid Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, and as a work group member for Healthy People 2020 and Healthy People 2030. He is active with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has served as the co- chair of education for the Pain and Neuromuscular Council.

Dr. Stanos’s work also includes ongoing educational initiatives for primary care, pain medicine, and physical medicine specialists around the United States and abroad. Dr. Stanos has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters related to pain management. He has been involved in the development and publication of treatment guidelines related to rehabilitation approaches for chronic pain and low back pain conditions. He also serves on the editorial board for the journal Pain Medicine and as a reviewer for other pain and rehabilitation journals.

A Mayday Foundation Advocacy fellow in 2013, Dr. Stanos’s advocacy has continued to focus on increasing awareness and access for inter-disciplinary biopsychosocially-based pain care for patients suffering with chronic pain. In 2014, the University of Washington Department of Pain Medicine awarded Dr. Stanos with the John J. Bonica, MD lecture. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, regional print, and television news covering various topics related to pain medicine and pain rehabilitation.

Siegfried O. F. Schmidt

Siegfried O. F. Schmidt

Hassan R. Mir

Hassan R. Mir

Catherine Judd

Catherine Judd

William F. Alden

Bill Alden has spent his entire distinguished career of nearly 50 years in the field of drug enforcement and abuse prevention, first as a DEA agent on the front lines, and eventually rising to Chief of the DEA's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs.

William F. Alden

Bill Alden has spent his entire distinguished career of nearly 50 years in the field of drug enforcement and abuse prevention, first as a DEA agent on the front lines, where he was the youngest agent ever promoted to front line supervisor, then, as the Chief of DEA’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs. While heading the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, he was instrumental in raising public awareness of drug related issues through developing Drug Wars: The Camarena Story, and by appearing in the print and TV media to promote awareness of DEA’s mission. His diverse experience led him to become the Deputy Director of DARE America and later to operate his own consulting firm, The Alden Group, providing law enforcement and drug prevention services to organizations including DARE America, Noblis, Verint Technology Inc., and Lafayette Group.

In 2001, Mr. Alden proposed the concept of a DEA Educational Foundation which came to fruition through his efforts and of which he was first the president and is now the Chairman of the Board. He currently lends his talent and expertise to the Foundation in support of the DEA Museum soliciting sponsors and partnerships to allow the museum to develop state-of-the-art displays and traveling exhibits. One such traveling exhibit, Drugs: Cost & Consequences has been seen by more than 22 million teachers, students and parents in 14 cities across the country. Another exhibit was created to educate Afghans on the dangers of opium use. Thousands of students in Afghanistan have viewed the exhibits as they traveled the countryside.

The Foundation also supports the DEA Youth Dance Program which provides an afterschool dance program to children across the country giving them an alternative to drugs while teaching them to make healthy and smart choices. The DEA YDP is currently in 47 cities across the U.S. The DEA EF developed an Opioid Awareness strategy which focuses its efforts on educating the public on the dangers of Opioid misuse.

As these examples illustrate, Mr. Alden’s dedication to drug awareness and his wide range of experience and skills continues to be an invaluable asset to the Foundation.

Mr. Alden received his B.A. degree from Indiana University in 1966.

A. Omar Abubaker

Dr. A. Omar Abubaker earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree (BDS) from University of Alexandria, Egypt in 1975.

A. Omar Abubaker

Dr. A. Omar Abubaker earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree (BDS) from University of Alexandria, Egypt in 1975. He also earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree and a Ph.D. in Anatomical Sciences from School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh. He completed his residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh. He also completed a one-year research fellowship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Abubaker was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the School of Dentistry, and at the Department of Surgery, school of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University in July 1991 with the rank of assistant professor. In 1996 he was promoted to associate professor with tenure and in 2002 to full professor. In 2002, he was appointed to serve as the Chairman of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Chief of Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the Department of Surgery, VCU School of Medicine and Chairman of Department of Dentistry at VCU Health System. In 2014 he was appointed as the Elmer Bear Endowed Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at VCU School of Dentistry.

Dr. Abubaker co-authored two textbooks in oral and maxillofacial Surgery, over 50 chapters and over 40 scientific articles in peer review journals. He presented before many local, national and international scientific meetings.

In 2016, Dr. Abubaker earned a Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies from the International Program in Addiction Studies from a coalition between Virginia Commonwealth University, The University of Adelaide, Australia and Kings College London, England. Over the past four years he has developed an interest in education and research in the field of addiction. Over the past two years he presented on the topic of substance use disorder, opioid epidemic and pain management to more than 50 local, regional and national groups and organizations.

Mark S. Gold

Dr. Gold is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University and an active member of the Clinical Council at the Washington University School of Medicine's Public Health Institute.

Mark S. Gold

Mark S. Gold, MD, is a teacher of the year, translational researcher, author, mentor, and inventor, best known for his work on the brain systems underlying the effects of opiate drugs, cocaine, and food. He has worked as an advisor to many White House Drug Czars, White House NIDA and NIMH directors over his career of 40+ years. He is an author and inventor who has published over 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles, texts, and practice guidelines. This pioneering work started with detoxification studies using clonidine and lofexidine as a non-opiate detox followed by oral naltrexone at Yale in the late 70s and continued at the University of Florida (UF). Dr. Gold translated opioid studies using mouse, rat, and non-human primate models before developing his opioid withdrawal hypothesis with his Yale colleagues. He then led the first studies to demonstrate non-opioid treatment efficacy for alpha-2 agonists. He also led rapid detoxification and clonidine to naltrexone studies in the late 70s and early 80s. Dr. Gold, trying to find patients who would take oral naltrexone, began his studies of Impaired Health Professionals and employees in health and safety occupations.

Dr. Gold has received a number of national awards for his research, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals, Foundations Fund Prize (APA), PRIDE Lifetime Achievement Award, DEA 30 Years of Service Pin, the McGovern Award for Lifetime Achievement (ASAM-ABAM 2015), National Leadership Award (NAATP), DARE Lifetime Achievement Award, Public Relations Society’s Silver Anvil Award, and China Academy of Sciences and DARE awards for his career in research and prevention (2015). More recently, he received the PATH Foundations Lifetime Achievement Award (2016) as one of the “fathers” of addiction medicine, presented to him by President Obama’s White House Drug Czar Michael Botticelli. Dr. Gold was awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards at Yale University, University of Florida, and Washington University in St. Louis as well as the Wall of Fame at the UF College of Medicine.

Dr. Gold was a Professor, Eminent Scholar, Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Alumni Professor, Chairman, and Emeritus Eminent Scholar during his 25 years at the University of Florida. His work is widely cited by his peers. It includes citation classics in cocaine neurobiology, opioid addiction neurobiology and treatment, and food and process addictions. He proved that cocaine was misclassified as safe, or the champagne of drugs, leading to revision in the DSM 3 and diagnosis of addiction. He has been called a groundbreaking researcher, father of medication-assisted recovery, the first to translate rat experiments into theory and treatments for human addicts, and mentor of the next generation of addiction researchers and clinicians. Working closely with Bart Hoebel at Princeton University, Dr. Gold helped develop the food addiction theory he posited in the 80s. With Nicole Avena, he worked on sugar self-administration models for hedonic overeating and developed new treatments for overeating and obesity. Kelly Brownell and Dr. Gold’s Food and Addiction, published by Oxford University Press, has been widely recognized as groundbreaking. Although working on food and drug-like reinforcement systems has been an important part of his work for 30 years, he has also worked on dual disorders, anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Dr. Gold worked closely with Al Rhoton and Bill Luttge to establish the UF Brain Institute. He was an original member of the McKnight Brain Institute and Director working to develop programs in Psychiatry, Addiction, Neurology, and Neurosurgery.

Since his retirement as a Director of the McKnight Brain Institute, Chairman, Distinguished Professor, and a full-time academic in 2014, Dr. Gold has continued his teaching, mentoring, research, and writing. He finished his 5-year State Department grant on opium smokers and the effects of second- and third-hand opium on children in Afghanistan. He has worked on de novo clinical addiction programs at the Medical College of Georgia, Northwestern, UF, and Tulane Lakeview Health. Dr. Gold regularly lectures at national and international meetings, medical societies, grand rounds around the United States, and international and national scientific meetings on his career, bench-to-bedside science in eating disorders, obesity, and addictions. Recently, he gave a keynote speech at the National Opioid Summit and Florida Opioid Summit as well as for the DEA-DOJ. He speaks regularly at medical schools across the United States, recently at Yale University, Mayo Clinic, Tulane, Washington University in St. Louis, Stanford, University of Connecticut (UConn), UCSF, Emory, Harvard-McLean-Borden Cottage, and UNC. He has given recent keynote addresses at American College of Psychiatrists, CADCA, ASAM, NAATP, APA, and Biological Psychiatry as well as a many states, medical, and psychiatric associations, dealing with the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Gold is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University and an active member of the Clinical Council at the Washington University School of Medicine’s Public Health Institute. He has Wash University mentees and works with them regularly. He is the Director of Research for the DEA Educational Association, working closely with DEA and moderating their quarterly educational events broadcast from DEA Headquarters around the world.