About Me

I 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. I have a master’s degree in education which I use to educate healthcare providers and providers-in-training to improve care for patients with substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders through my work on MI CARES and with various professional organizations. I am the Past President of the Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine. Clinically, I oversee and collaborate with other providers in Spectrum Health’s GREAT MOMs program to treat pregnant people with substance use disorders.

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I am a national expert in addiction medicine who is sought after for teaching and training activities. My career focus involves advocacy efforts, training health professionals, and providing evidence-based care for people who are vulnerable to and marginalized by SUDs. By working closely with local and state government agencies, I have been able to directly influence policies and procedures around the treatment of people with SUDs. My persistent advocacy has helped to advance more evidence-based treatment opportunities as evidenced by an invitation to speak at Michigan’s Governor’s announcement of her opioid strategy and regular requests from various departments in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to inform policy. The State of Michigan has removed prior authorizations for medications to treat SUDs and updated rules governing SUD treatment programs. I am a Governor’s appointee as a member of the Board of Medicine. Nearly half of physicians presenting to the board with the potential for revocation of their license are there because of their own substance use history. Until my joining the board, there was not another provider with addiction medicine credentials serving on the board either presently or historically. My expertise helps ensure public safety while also making sure physicians are treated compassionately and fairly.

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Over the last few years, I have created highly collaborative efforts for person-centered programming to treat pregnant people with an opioid use disorder (OUD). Through this work, we have successfully treated over 100 pregnant people and expanded our care to include the whole family through collaboration with family medicine. We have shown success with improved fetal outcomes and decreased length of stay in the hospital. We are able to identify families for targeted interventions by equipping our clinicians with the ability to intervene appropriately on additional social determinants of health and other risk factors.

Not willing to be limited by our geography, we provide a toolkit and training for prenatal care providers (OB/GYN, MFM, family medicine, and nurse-midwifery.) Our work has informed national care models.

I obtained a Master’s Degree in education with a focus on curriculum and teaching during my fellowship; this culminated in my developing a program to educate physicians across the undergraduate–graduate-continuing medical education (UME-GME-CME) spectrum in addiction medicine. MI CARES also has training for APRN and PA prescribers. This didactic program involves purposeful education with the goal of training prescribers to treat persons with SUDs in a kind, compassionate, destigmatized way. MI CARES (Michigan Collaborative Addiction Resources and Education System) is funded through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and SAMHSA.

Why addiction medicine?

Like so many others, my younger brother died as a result of depression complicating an alcohol use disorder via a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 24 years old. What was a professional passion became deeply personal. I hope my work will prevent other families from suffering this loss.

I dedicate my professional work to Max’s memory.