AltaPointe Health works to secure a first of its kind fellowship in Alabama

Share Article

The fellowship aimed at addiction medicine will benefit countless people. Early evidence shows problems related to addiction have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, so high-quality addiction treatment will be in even higher demand.

News Image
This will be a benefit to all Alabamians as there are few of us that are not touched in some way by addiction either in ourselves or in people that we care about.

AltaPointe Health is leading the way in Alabama training physicians from any medical specialty to provide specialized care to individuals struggling with addictive disorders.

“Our nation has experienced unprecedented levels of problems related to addiction during the opioid epidemic, and physicians with expertise in Addiction Medicine are in very short supply in the United States generally and in Alabama in particular,” J. Luke Engeriser, MD, AltaPointe Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said. “Early evidence shows that problems related to addiction to alcohol and other drugs have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, so high-quality addiction treatment will be in even greater demand in the coming years.”

AltaPointe Health will collaborate with the University of South Alabama College of Medicine to offer the addiction medicine fellowship. It is the first in the state to receive accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to train and provide a pipeline for the next generation of addiction medicine experts in the state of Alabama.

“This will be a benefit to all Alabamians as there are few of us that are not touched in some way by addiction either in ourselves or in people that we care about,” Dr. Engeriser added. AltaPointe has four psychiatrists board certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, including Dr. Engeriser, Praveen Narahari, MD, and Marianne Saitz, DO, and Lori Lowthert, MD.

The next step is to secure funding to begin the recruitment process for the first fellow. Engeriser is hopeful the fellowship could start as early as July 1, 2020.

AltaPointe’s impact on the education of medical students began in 2003 when AltaPointe took on the task of training students enrolled in the psychiatric nurse practitioner program at three universities across Alabama: the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of South Alabama.

“We are fortunate at AltaPointe to have a team of physicians that demonstrate the ability to add value to everything we are doing with their dedication to serving our patients and keeping up with the demands of the healthcare industry,” Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe Health CEO, said. “Obtaining the addiction medicine fellowship is a true testament to that dedication and hard work.”

AltaPointe currently offers a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. It is designed to develop and enhance interest among general psychiatry residents in pursuing careers in child and adolescent psychiatry.

AltaPointe Health is Alabama’s largest and most comprehensive health and human services organization and psychiatric hospital system. It is the second largest in the southeastern US serving Mobile, Baldwin, and Washington counties in south Alabama and Clay, Coosa, Randolph, and Talladega counties to the north. Each year it provides mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disability services to more than 35,000 children and adults.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

April Douglas
@AltaPointeHS
Follow >
Visit website