HOUSTON (October 05, 2015)

The Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC) has been granted the first accredited addiction medicine fellowship program in the state of Texas. Memorial Hermann PaRC’s Addiction Medicine Fellowship is one of just 36 in the United States, nine of which were just approved by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) Foundation.

“While PaRC has had a fellowship for seven years, earning the Addiction Medicine Fellowship designation from the ABAM Foundation is a very significant step in addressing the epidemic that faces our city, state and country,” said Matt Feehery, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann PaRC. “It is becoming increasingly important and necessary to have expert physicians specifically trained in addiction medicine. This program allows PaRC to further change the landscape of addiction care.”

The Cameron Addiction Medicine Fellowship program at PaRC trains physician specialists to treat and manage patients suffering from substance use and addiction with one year of sub-specialty training, which is offered to physicians already trained and certified in other medical specialties.

“Accreditation through the ABAM Foundation fellowship programs help ensure that trained physicians are available to address common medical or psychiatric conditions related to the use of addictive substances,” Feehery said.

Approximately 40 million people in the U.S. have the disease of addiction, yet only about one in 10 receive any form of treatment, with few receiving evidence-based care, according to the ABAM Foundation.

Feehery and other fellowship program directors attended the Medicine Responds to Addiction symposium at the White House in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, alongside leaders in graduate medical education, federal agencies, and supporting institutions, including the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The importance of expanding training in addiction medicine was at the forefront of the symposium, which was co-sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the ABAM Foundation.

The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) has begun the formal process of bringing addiction medicine into the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as a subspecialty available to diplomats from all medical fields, according to the ABAM Foundation.

“The steps being taken to include addiction medicine as a medical specialty like emergency medicine and pediatrics really speaks to the devastating impact addiction has had on our country,” Feehery said. “Addiction is a disease and needs to be treated like one.”