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Yale professor Ball will lead a broader-based CASA

November 15, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) has announced that Yale University School of Medicine psychiatry professor Samuel A. Ball, PhD, has been named the center’s new president and CEO. Ball will oversee a center with a newly expanded mission, as the CASA board has elected to broaden the organization’s focus to encompass compulsive gambling, sexual addictions, and obesity and eating disorders.

Ball has coordinated numerous research initiatives in addiction, included several psychotherapy trials funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). He developed Dual Focus Schema Therapy for persons with addictions and comorbid personality disorders, and he led implementation of the “train the trainer” model for Motivational Interviewing in NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network.

Under the leadership of Ball, who serves as assistant chair of Yale’s Department of Psychiatry and director of its faculty development programs, CASA will forge partnerships with several Yale centers, such as the Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. But in response to a question from Addiction Professional, CASA founder and chairman emeritus Joseph A. Califano, Jr., indicated that the center will not be severing its ties with Columbia University in conjunction with these latest developments.

“We expect to have a relationship with Yale, Columbia and anyone else who supports our mission,” Califano said.

Ball’s background in addictions also includes his work as research and scientific director of the APT Foundation, a Connecticut nonprofit addiction treatment provider founded by Herbert Kleber, MD, who was also instrumental in CASA’s establishment. CASA seeks to translate scientific findings about addictions into healthcare and public health practice as well as public policy initiatives.