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Phoenix House's new medical director has significant public health background

September 16, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The new chief medical officer of Phoenix House, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit addiction treatment organizations, has a lengthy public health background that included work to encourage buprenorphine treatment and naloxone use in overdose prevention in New York state.

Andrew Kolodny, MD, officially began his new role at Phoenix House earlier this month; just prior to making that transition he had served as chair of psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. Advances that occurred at the hospital during his time there included development of a psychiatric emergency room and a co-located primary care service.

Phoenix House president and CEO Howard Meitiner said in a statement that Kolodny will “contribute a passion for public education and policy reform as it relates to prescription drug abuse, which now accounts for more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.” Kolodny is the founder and president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, a 1,000-member organization dedicated to advancing safe prescribing practices.

At the New York City Department of Public Health, Kolodny arranged for all New York City hospitals to begin offering buprenorphine treatment for opioid addiction. At another city government agency, he developed and implemented naloxone programs for overdose prevention, and initiated emergency intervention and referral efforts.

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