David M. Stern, MD, vice chancellor for Health Affairs for Statewide Initiatives at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been a tireless advocate for improving medical education in order to better diagnosis, treat, and prevent addiction. He was recently named to the new Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education established by Governor Bill Haslam as part of his plan to stem the state’s opioid epidemic.
The 19-member commission, which includes four members affiliated with the UT System, held its first meeting late last week. It is charged with formulating evidenced-based pain and addiction medicine competencies for adoption by the state’s medical and health care schools regarding management of pain, proper prescribing of pain medication, and diagnosis and treatment of those suffering from addiction.
The former Robert Kaplan Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Stern is the founder of the Center for Addiction Science at UTHSC. In 2016, the center was named the first Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine in the country by The Addiction Medicine Foundation. It was honored for bringing together education, clinical care, research, and community outreach to battle the epidemic of addiction.
“We feel that education and specific training of current and future providers is an important part of bringing the opioid epidemic under control,” Dr. Stern said. “I am delighted to be a part of the governor’s commission.”