Member Value Among the Top Goals for ASAM CEO

Penny S. Mills, M.B.A.

Penny S. Mills, M.B.A.

Penny S. Mills, M.B.A., has been Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of ASAM for a limited time — less than a year — but the Society’s accomplishments under her leadership are already noteworthy.

ASAM has made significant progress on four primary goals — increasing member values, strengthening communications with members, supporting members in their practices, and educating primary care physicians about addiction.

“First, we really want to focus on strengthening and increasing member value, and we are offering several new benefits to do that,” Mills said. “We have also tried to make pricing more favorable for members in terms of registering for programs and products.”

Two programs have been launched this year, and a third starts next month. The Career Center started in February to connect members with potential employers on an online job center. In March, ASAM Weekly was launched to keep members up-to-date on all the news concerning the Society and its members. In late May, the Live Learning Center will be launched.

“Strengthening our communications with members to keep them up to date on what is happening with ASAM and within addiction medicine is important,” Mills said. Publications are key, including ASAM Weekly and the Med-Sci Daily News, distributed during the Conference. In addition, the ASAM website will be updated in the last quarter to offer richer content and improve navigation.

An example of supporting members was Wednesday’s Legislative Day, in which ASAM officials and members visited members of Congress to discuss issues of importance, such as the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which took effect January 1.

“We met with representatives in the House and Senate to ensure that the regulations associated with the implementation of that legislation really help to implement the spirit of the law,” Mills said.

ASAM is also helping members with legislative and regulatory issues in their states, such as “medical” marijuana.

The education of primary care physicians got a boost last week with the launch of the Physician Clinical Support System for Primary Care (PCSS-P), the latest addition to ASAM’s mentor network. An online skills training program, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) will be launched this spring.

Finally, Mills wants to meet more members to find out what is on their minds.

“If they have a question or concern, they should feel free to contact me at pmills@asam.org,” she said. “I have had the opportunity to meet more members at educational programs and chapter meetings, and I look forward to continuing to do that.”