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SAMHSA organizes gathering of substance use and primary care professionals

April 14, 2010
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Session looks to explore linkages between the delivery systems

An effort to encourage linkages between the addiction treatment and primary care service systems is at the heart of a one-day gathering to be held this June prior to the 72nd College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is sponsoring the all-day satellite session, “Linking Health Care and Substance Use Disorders Services: Supporting Health and Wellness,” on June 12 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Free registration is being offered for the session, and free continuing education units are being provided by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is the sponsoring unit, with the center’s H. Westley Clark, MD, MPH, scheduled to deliver the keynote presentation for the satellite session.

The list of scheduled speakers and panel discussion participants represents a diversity of experts from both the specialty addiction treatment and general medical worlds. Included on the schedule are Ira J. Marion, director of government and community relations at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Larry Gentilello, MD, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a leader in the area of general medical screening and brief intervention for substance use problems; Sue Griffith, supervisor of behavioral health at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett; and Kyu Rhee, MD, chief public health officer at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

According to a statement from SAMHSA about the process of bringing the substance use treatment and primary care communities together, “Such collaboration is expected to enhance integrated care for individuals and families. Improved health and well-being is the ultimate goal.”

Online registration is available through May 16, by visiting For more information, contact Peter Edwards at (240) 645-4130 or