President’s Message

October 2020

Melanie Willows

We are in the home stretch to the first ISAM-CSAM Scientific Conference taking place virtually on November 12-14, 2020. I strongly encourage you to register. I am excited to tell you we have prepared a multi-track, fully accredited event that will include plenary speakers, electronic poster sessions, a dedicated COVID track, on-line networking and much more. More than 250 abstracts were submitted! The event will truly be world class.

The world changed with the COVID pandemic. The CSAM-SMCA Board of Directors held the first annual BOD meeting virtually on October 17, 2020. It was highly productive as we finalized our position statement on decriminalization of drugs, worked on proposed bylaw changes, and completed planning for committee work to align with our Mission, Vision and Strategic Directions.  This year the Annual General Membership Meeting (AGM) will occur virtually and will take place after the conference on November 21, 2020, between 9:00-10:30 MST. I strongly encourage you to attend as proposals for bylaw changes are on the agenda that will allow a broad expansion to membership.

This will be my last newsletter as President of CSAM-SMCA.  At the AGM, I will hand over the President’s role to Dr. Jennifer Brasch (current President Elect) and Dr. David Martell will become President Elect.  It has been a challenging 2 years with the loss of our dedicated administrative assistant Karen Mellor and the pivot to a virtual conference, board meeting and annual general membership meeting due to the COVID pandemic.  I will be forever grateful to Marilyn Dorozio for helping us to keep CSAM-SMCA going during Karen’s illness.  I want to thank Becca Hebert, our new administrative assistant for her enthusiasm, and flexibility during a year with many changes and new projects.  

I also want to thank all the board members for their dedication and commitment over the past two years, particularly during the last eight months of the COVID pandemic while balancing added work and family pressures.  I want to express gratitude to Dr. Paul Sobey in his role as past president for the mentorship and support he has provided to me in the President’s role.  He has also been instrumental in moving forward the comprehensive review process that resulted in the development of our Vision, Mission and Strategic Directions and the recent redevelopment and launch of CSAM-SMCA’s new website.  Lastly, I would like to thank you, the members of CSAM-SMCA, for continuing to be part of our organization and for the important work you do in your communities assisting patients and their families who have being touched by addiction. 

Take care and stay safe,

The Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine is a national society of medical professionals and scientists committed to helping Canadians understand, accept, and recover from substance use disorders.