Itai Danovitch, MD, MBA, Begins Term as President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine

Los Angeles - Oct. 28, 2013Itai Danovitch, MD, MBA, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of Addiction Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai, has begun a two-year term as president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine.

The organization represents approximately 400 physicians who aim to increase access and improve the quality of addiction treatment, provide public education and prevention programs, support scientific research into causes and treatments and lead public discussion in the state about public policy and clinical issues related to addiction medicine.

"Dr. Danovitch is a wonderful choice to lead the California Society of Addiction Medicine, especially now, when the importance of addressing underlying addiction disorders is recognized as a critical part of delivering outstanding healthcare," said Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, MACP, Cedars-Sinai senior vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the Medical Faculty and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Distinguished Chair in Investigative Medicine.

The author of more than 30 articles and book chapters, Danovitch assumes the presidency of the organization from a fellow Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry faculty member, Jeffery N. Wilkins, MD.

"Addiction disorders cause an immense amount of suffering, but effective treatments exist," Danovitch said. "At a time when our healthcare system is focused on improving population health, I want to work toward ensuring that physicians dealing with addictive disorders have the education and resources necessary to help patients recover."

In 2011, Danovitch was selected to lead the reorganization of supportive mental health services throughout the Cedars-Sinai Health System, including inpatient medical and surgical areas, Emergency Department, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and the Comprehensive Transplant Center. Today, the Department of Psychiatry provides clinical service, cultivates community partnerships to oversee a continuum of care, fosters quality training opportunities and engages in collaborative health services research.

Danovitch's research interests have focused on substance use disorders, particularly marijuana, as well as the integration of medical and mental health services. He was co-editor of the 2012 Psychiatric Clinics of North America special edition on addiction. He also has written on subjects ranging from the treatment of substance use disorders to the psychological concept of "quality of life." As an educator, Danovitch has been recognized with the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Danovitch also is a member of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and is a past recipient of the American Psychiatric Association GlaxoSmithKline Fellowship for national leadership in the field of psychiatry. Most recently, he has served as a specialty consultant on marijuana to committees of the California Medical Association and the California Psychiatric Association.

Danovitch earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his medical doctorate from the UCLA School of Medicine, now called the David Geffen School of Medicine. He completed a residency at Columbia, New York Presbyterian Hospital/New York State Psychiatric Institute, an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and earned a Master of Business Administration at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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