Connection with CMA Strengthened by Gail Jara

The connection with CMA was strengthened by Gail Jara who had joined the CMA staff in 1972 after the successful lobbying partnership. “We carried the resolution to the CMA to form a specialty society, and we were very well received,” Bromley recalled. “There were many visionary people there at the time who saw this as an important field needing more medical involvement.”

In the academic arena, people like Charles Becker of UCSF, George Lundberg of USC, Joe Takamine and Tom Ungerleider of UCLA and Joe Zuska of the Navy all played important roles. “Here was someone who brought the imprimatur of the university to add to the recognition that we weren’t just a bunch of quacks. Chuck Becker did that for us. We had our first meeting at his house in Tiburon,” recalled Jack Gordon.

“I recognized that there was no teaching about chemical dependency in the medical school, while that was the root of so many of the problems we saw in the clinics,” Chuck Becker recalled. “I was lucky there was this very good group of practicing physicians getting organized. But I have to say that the guru was Gail Jara, who helped us to formulate regular protocols and was an administrator of great skill and compassion. She brought practice, research and treatment all together.”

Not everyone was initially enthusiastic about mainstreaming addiction medicine. “I had initially been alienated from the mainstream,” recalls David Smith. “Jess Bromley and Gail Jara convinced me that we had to work for change from within organized medicine – if only to keep from getting arrested.”