11 Receive Ruth Fox Scholarships

The 11 Ruth Fox Scholars, and donors to the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment Fund, were recognized at an invitation-only reception Friday night. The scholarships help winners increase their opportunities to learn about the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders.

The Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment Fund, named for ASAM founder Ruth Fox, MD, was established in 1990 to raise $10 million to support the society in times of need or for special projects, said Scholarship Committee Chair Andrea Barthwell, MD, FASAM, ABAM Diplomate. Since its inception, 98 percent of the fund’s principal has come from ASAM members. This year, additional scholarship funding was received from NIDA. In addition, ASAM’s Kentucky chapter made separate funding available to support a resident to attend Med-Sci.

Chapter funding for resident scholarships is another great way to expose more residents to addiction medicine education at Med-Sci.

Dr. Barthwell said the scholarships represent an investment in the future of addiction medicine.

“This is the one place the board has authorized us to spend money,” she said. “This year, we expanded our scholarships, as we want to accelerate our ability to reach more people and bring more talent to the field. It’s a very worthwhile investment.”

This year’s recipients are:

  • Sarah Bagley, MD, Addiction Medicine Fellowship, Boston University Medical Center, and the winner of ASAM’s Millennium Research Institute (MRI) Fellowship Award
  • Shonali Saha, MD, Adolescent Medicine Fellowship, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Deepali Gangahar, MD, Psychiatry Residency, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
  • Neil Paterson, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Semel Institute
  • Leona Graham, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Training Program, University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • Vishesh Agarwal, MD, Psychiatry Residency, Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Stacie Solt, MD,  Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program, Stanford, California
  • Erin Lorencz, MD, OB-GYN Residency, Mountain Area Health Education Center, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Lindsay Abcunas, MD, OB-GYN Residency, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • Katherine Ann McKay, MD, Psychiatry Residency, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
  • Alexandra Bright, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, Washington

Scholarships provide fellows and residents with complimentary Med-Sci Conference registration, as well as flight and hotel costs. Recipients also receive three free years of ASAM membership. For recipients, this is a unique opportunity in their careers.

“I was very happy to hear I had won a scholarship to this year’s ASAM meeting. It’s my first ASAM meeting of my psychiatry residency, which is especially meaningful because I am focused on addiction psychiatry as my future specialization,” said Dr. Paterson. “In the future, I aim to build a private practice in addiction psychiatry, where I hope to be an innovative practitioner in several aspects, from diagnostic testing to medications and other treatment modalities. I believe that my years in research will help with respect to identifying novel treatments.”

Dr. Saha echoed her colleague’s sentiments.

“The scholarship provides me the opportunity to meet established and emerging leaders in addiction medicine, as well the mentorship that I will receive in spending time with the chair of the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment Fund, committee, and board members during the conference,” Dr. Saha said. “I also am enthusiastic about networking with the other scholarship recipients and future colleagues to learn about their work and career trajectories, as I am always looking for new ways to learn about the evolving science in the field of addiction.”