Penny S. Mills Named as Executive Vice President of American Society of Addiction Medicine

Friday, June 4, 2010 General News
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Seasoned Executive Brings Diverse Leadership Experience to Specialty Society

CHEVY CHASE, Md., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

-- Penny S. Mills, a seasoned executive with extensive association management, consulting, health policy and health system experience, has been selected as the new Executive Vice President (EVP) of the American Society
of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).  Ms. Mills will start in the new position July 1, following the retirement of long-time EVP Eileen McGrath.

ASAM is the nation's leading professional society of physicians involved in addiction prevention, treatment, research, education, and public policy.

"Ms. Mills has an impressive track record, across many areas of health care leadership that are relevant to the work of ASAM," says Louis E. Baxter, Sr., MD, FASAM, President and Board Chair, American Society of Addiction Medicine and Executive Medical Director, Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc., Princeton, NJ.  "We are fortunate to have her come on board at this time of great promise and challenge in addiction medicine."

Ms. Mills has served in leadership positions with a range of health care organizations including the American College of Cardiology, where she was a member of the executive team for 13 years. She joins ASAM from Avalere Health, where she served as Vice President since 2007.  Avalere Health is a leading advisory firm focusing on the intersection of health policy and business strategy.  In this role, Ms. Mills has had the opportunity to work with 10 professional societies – perfect preparation for her new position with ASAM.

"I am thrilled and honored to join ASAM at this exciting juncture in its history and growth," says Ms. Mills.  "This is an exciting time to be in addiction medicine, and I look forward to working with the board of directors to provide leadership in the field."

Many recent developments have brought addiction medicine to greater prominence.  In 2008, ASAM leadership helped form the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), the first specialty board to certify addiction medicine physicians.   ABAM has certified its first diplomates, is in the process of establishing residency programs, for which it will seek accreditation, and will soon seek recognition from the American Board of Medical Specialties.  

New tools have come online in recent years to diagnose addictions, and research has demonstrated conclusively that addiction is a relapsing-remitting disease of the brain that is caused by biological, environmental and developmental factors.  New medications to treat addiction have become available, and there are more addiction therapies in FDA-sanctioned clinical trials than ever before.  Barriers to treatment are being lowered, as a national parity law and health care reform go into effect.  The American Society of Addiction Medicine and its members have been at the forefront of these developments.

Ms. Mills, who early in her career managed mental health and substance abuse services for a major health system, has worked in virtually every aspect of medical society management, including strategic planning, fund raising, publishing and marketing.  Among the organizations she has helped lead are Lewin/ICF (now the Lewin Group), American International Healthcare, Arthur Young and Company, and United Health Services.  

Ms. Mills says that she sees ASAM as having a "vibrant" membership, and she wants to help grow the membership base while looking for ways to enhance the value of that membership.  In addition, she plans to expand funding opportunities, and help ASAM members meet the challenges of changing health care and reimbursement environments, while maintaining the organization's sterling reputation.    

"I have a passion for health care and a passion for the mission of this organization," she adds.  "ASAM has a strong legacy and is positioned well to help its members face the future.  I look forward to playing an important role in that future."

Ms. Mills received her MBA and Sloan Certificate in Health Services Administration from Cornell University, and her BA from Oberlin College.  She is a board member of Cornell's Sloan Alumni Association.  She has extensive experience as a speaker at national conferences including the American Association for Medical Society Executives and the Alliance for CME.

The mission of the American Society for Addiction Medicine is to: increase access to and improve the quality of addiction treatment; educate physicians, medical and osteopathic students and other health care providers about addiction and addiction medicine; support addiction research and prevention; promote the appropriate role of the physician in the care of patients with addiction; and establish addiction medicine as a specialty recognized by professional organizations, governments, physicians, purchasers and consumers of health care services, and the general public.  For more information, please visit

CONTACT:  Dennis Tartaglia, +1-732-545-1848,; or Alexis Geier-Horan, +1-301-656-3920 x103,

SOURCE American Society of Addiction Medicine


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