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UMass Medical School Communication Chan

Amber Cahill, PsyD, assistant professor of family medicine & amp; public health and clinical psychologist leading the behavioral science curriculum at the Fitchburg Family Medicine residency, named a member of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. offers. Cahill trained physicians in residence in mental health and substance use disorders. She is also a faculty of the Center for Integrated Primary Care, a team that develops and disseminates knowledge and skills through workforce development and practice – based research.

“I am extremely passionate about primary care and family medicine, as it is this progressive entity that listens and responds to the needs of the community it serves,” Cahill said.

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative focuses on critical health challenges facing the nation: addiction and overdose, adolescent health, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, and violence. The initiative was established in 2016 with a $ 300 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies in honor of the centennial of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Cahill is one of 50 members who have been awarded a full scholarship to obtain a master’s degree in public health. Upon completion of the degree, Bloomberg members are committed to working at least one additional year with their employer to apply the skills and tools acquired during the fellowship.

Cahill said she is immersed in treating substance use disorders, reducing injury and helping primary care clinicians treat addiction. Traditionally, people with addiction have been referred to specialists or rehabilitation facilities that are disconnected from the medical system, she explained.

“For the past decade, we have been trying to merge these worlds to integrate this, as it should be in the first place,” Cahill said.

Cahill recently completed a project led by Daniel Mullin, PsyD, MPH, associate professor of family medicine & amp; community health, which has created comprehensive opioid use disorder (OUD) training for medical students across the state, making them eligible after graduation for waiver DATA (Drug Addiction Treatment Act 2000 ) to administer, distribute and prescribe buprenorphine. This drug treats opioid use disorders by alleviating opioid withdrawal and reducing cravings, and inhibiting the effect of other opioids. The shortage of “waiver” physicians has hampered the treatment of opioid use disorders in the community.

When thinking about harm reduction, policy and how to help clinicians communicate with drug users, Cahill has highlighted drug use as a population health problem that affects many aspects of life. That was what brought her to the Bloomberg fellowship.

Cahill said, “I love it here and I want to apply what I learn from a larger population health perspective and put those skills into action.”

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