CSAM Announces Executive Director Appointment and New Management Team

Dear CSAM Members,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Cheryl Marcell as the new Executive Director of CSAM, effective June 15, 2024. Cheryl joins us through a contract with McDonald Association Management in Sacramento, CA, bringing over two decades of distinguished experience and a diverse skill set acquired through her leadership roles with nonprofit organizations in Sacramento and Canada.

Cheryl’s impressive background includes expertise in advocacy at both state and federal levels, membership services, cultivating strategic relationships, revenue generation, and managing conferences and events. She is a seasoned communicator, adept at representing organizations to the public, government, and the media. Cheryl’s most recent role involved serving a large nonprofit that provides crucial services to victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.

McDonald Association Management boasts a skilled team with a proven track record of over two decades in association management. Their expertise spans project management, member services, financial management, event planning, grant development, and government affairs.

The recommendation of McDonald was the culmination of an extensive search process that commenced in February. The search committee, led by Chair Dr. Dana Harris and comprising committee members Dr. Jean Marsters, Dr. Karen Miotto, Dr. Mario San Bartolome, Dr. Mason Turner, Dr. Neal Mehra, and myself, carried out the search process. Kerry Parker, CSAM’s Executive Director 2000-2020, served as our management search consultant.

As part of this new partnership with McDonald, CSAM’s new office and mailing address will be 1540 River Park Drive, Suite 211, Sacramento, CA, 95815-4608, while the primary email address (csam@csam-asam.org) will remain unchanged.

In addition to partnering with McDonald, CSAM has also engaged ConferenceDirect, a reputable nationwide conference management company, to provide support for the 2024 annual conference. Joanna Ward, serving as the conference manager, is collaborating closely with the conference planning committee on the State of the Art Addiction Medicine Conference coming up August 21-24 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

I am eagerly anticipating the conference and the opportunity to introduce our members to Cheryl and our new management team. I look forward to the pleasure of seeing many of you there.

Warm regards,

Sharone Abramowitz, MD, DFASAM
President, California Society of Addiction Medicine

CSAM is now accepting nomination submissions for the Vernelle Fox & Community Service Awards!

CSAM Vernelle Fox Award
Honoring an Inquiring Mind, Courage, and Enthusiasm

  • Inquiring Mind – Contributions to the understanding of the field
  • Courage – Resolution and tenacity
  • Enthusiasm – Energy for the positive

CSAM recognizes physicians who have made noteworthy and lasting contributions in line with the mission of the Society: contributions which improve the quality of health care services, increase communication and education among providers of care and add to the research on which the understanding of the field is based and on which the health care services are built.

This award will be presented to the selected candidate during the CSAM 2023 Addiction Medicine Review Course and Board Exam Preparation Track.

If you have someone in mind you feel is worthy of the Vernelle Fox Award, please CLICK HERE to submit a nomination on their behalf.

Please submit your nomination by June 14, 2024!

CSAM Community Service Award
Recognizing non-physicians who make outstanding contributions to the community

The Community Service award recognizes a non-physician who made outstanding contributions to the community. This CSAM award is presented based on merit and since 1985, it has been awarded to a wide variety of legislators, activists, community leaders, etc., all with one thing in common: they have improved the lives of those suffering from the disease of addiction, and by doing so have contributed a valuable service to the community.

This award will be presented to the selected candidate during the CSAM 2023 Addiction Medicine Review Course and Board Exam Preparation Track.

If you have someone in mind you feel is worthy of the Community Service Award, please CLICK HERE to submit a nomination on their behalf.

Please submit your nomination by June 14, 2024!

CSAM Legislative “Walk the Halls” Day

CSAM members “walked the halls” of the State Capitol in Sacramento on April 9, 2024 where they met with California legislators and their staff to discuss crucial bills making their way through the legislative process. CSAM Members Soraya Azari, MD, Delani Gunawardena, MD, Randy Holmes, MD, Raheel Khan, MD, Dymon Morgan, MD, (UCSF Fellow), Manu Saini, MD, and CSAM Legislative Advocate Robert Harris all took part in educating our elected officials. The group was able to meet with eight legislators and staff that include:

  • Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) – met with staff
  • Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno)
  • Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) – met with staff
  • Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) – met with staff
  • Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) – met with staff
  • Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber (D-San Diego) – met with staff
  • Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and – met with staff
  • Assemblymember Dr. Jasmine Bains (D-Delano).

There were three main bills that were discussed, all of which CSAM supports:

AB 2651 (Bains) Support

AB 2651 would create, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor Board within the Department of Consumer Affairs. The bill would require the board to establish regulations and standards for the licensure of alcohol drug counselors, as specified. The bill would authorize the board to collaborate with the Department of Health Care Access and Information regarding behavioral health professions, review sunrise review applications for emerging behavioral health license and certification programs and refer complaints regarding behavioral health workers to appropriate agencies, as specified.

AB 2115 (Haney) Support

Under current law, specified clinics, including surgical clinics, may purchase drugs at wholesale for administration or dispensing to the clinic’s patients. Current law requires these clinics to maintain certain records and to obtain a license from the board. Current law prohibits specified substances from being dispensed by a nonprofit or free clinic, as defined. AB 2115 would authorize a nonprofit or free clinic to dispense a narcotic drug for the purpose of relieving acute withdrawal symptoms while arrangements are being made for referral for treatment, as described, and would require the clinic dispensing the narcotic to be subject to specified labeling and recordkeeping requirements. Because the bill would specify additional requirements under the Pharmacy Law, a violation of which would be a crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

AB 1842 (Reyes) Support

Current law authorizes health care service plans and health insurers that cover prescription drugs to utilize reasonable medical management practices, including prior authorization and step therapy, consistent with applicable law. AB 1842 would prohibit a medical service plan and a health insurer from subjecting a naloxone product or another opioid antagonist approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or a buprenorphine product or long-acting injectable naltrexone for detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder, to prior authorization or step therapy. Because a willful violation of these provisions by a health care service plan would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

All in all, it was a successful day of advocating for our profession and patients. As we all know, addiction medicine is a complex and challenging field that requires a deep understanding. That is why it is vital to have a Legislative Day where we can meet face to face with key legislators that shape the policies and regulations in the field of medicine. Thank you to all of the CSAM members that attended, and we hope to see you again next year!

Randy Holmes, MD, FAAFP, DFASAM
Chair, Committee on Government Affairs

CSAM Legislative Day – Sacramento – April 9

Join us for CSAM’s annual Legislative Day on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Dr. Randy Holmes, Chair of CSAM’s Government Affairs Committee, and legislative advocate Robert Harris invite you to participate in individual meetings California legislators and their staff. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and educate California’s elected officials on crucial topics related to prevention, treatment, and access for our patients. There is no registration fee, and we need strong voices to join us for this important annual event. To RSVP or for inquiries, contact csam@csam-asam.org

CSAM Change in Management Announcement

For the past four years, CSAM’s Executive Director, Kim Andosca, and our staff have provided their services through the Advocacy & Management Group (AMG). We extend our gratitude to Kim and the team for their hard work and dedication to CSAM. However, in light of future considerations and after careful deliberation on CSAM’s evolving needs, the Board has decided to transition to new management. This means that Kim and her team will be concluding their service to CSAM in June 2024.

During this transition period, we are pleased to announce that we will be collaborating with Kerry Parker, CSAM’s former Executive Director, to facilitate a seamless transition and to begin the search for new management. Our primary objectives during this search process include exploring various management structures to ensure the fulfillment of CSAM’s mission and to secure our financial sustainability for the long term. We are committed to keeping you informed throughout this process, prioritizing transparency and inclusivity. Your active engagement and input are highly encouraged during this period of change. The following links provide downloadable PDFs of the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for Association Management Services, Conference Management, and the Executive Director position description. If you have any recommendations for qualified executive directors or management companies with a passion for addiction medicine, please reach out to us via email at ca.addictionmedicine@gmail.com.

During these changes, CSAM remains steadfast in its dedication to education and public policy advocacy. The Board and Conference Planning Committee are fully committed to delivering an exceptional CSAM State of the Art Conference, a tradition we are immensely proud of, scheduled for August 21-24 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Having recently marked 50 years of service to the addiction medicine community and those they serve, we are excited to chart the course for the next 50 years of CSAM’s future alongside you.

Sharone Abramowitz, MD, DFASAM
President, California Society of Addiction Medicine

Join Team DHCS!

DHCS is seeking a mission-driven MD/DO to guide DHCS’ ambitious agenda to ensure high-quality and accessible mental health and substance use disorder services in Medi-Cal and other public programs.

The Medical Consultant II position will provide clinical expertise and strategic advice to DHCS Behavioral Health leadership on the development and implementation of policy and initiatives designed to strengthen behavioral health care access, quality, and service delivery, and achieve equitable health care outcomes for 15 million Medi-Cal members and Californians served through other programs. The position, located within the Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Policy Division, will provide cross-cutting support to all DHCS Behavioral Health teams, and will collaborate across the Department and externally. The Medical Consultant II will shape the implementation of an unprecedented array of behavioral health funding investments, policy changes, and innovative initiatives that DHCS is leading to better meet the needs of the communities we serve. This is an incredible opportunity to support the change management process for a once-in-a-generation moment of behavioral health reform in California.

Full-time telework permitted. Board certifications in psychiatry and addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry preferred. For more information, please visit the Cal Careers website.

Please share with your networks. Thank you!

For any questions, please contact the DHCS Hiring Manager for this position, Jamie Shigetoshi, at Jamie.Shigetoshi@dhcs.ca.gov. Please feel free to cc Ivan Bhardwaj at Ivan.Bhardwaj@dhcs.ca.gov.