Timothy E. Wilens, MD, was honored as the inaugural incumbent of an endowed chair in addiction medicine, underscoring Mass General's efforts to address substance use disorders.

Timothy E. Wilens, MD, chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, was honored as the inaugural incumbent of the MGH Trustees Endowed Chair in Addiction Medicine at a celebration on April 4, 2016, at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation.

“We’re hopeful and excited that this chair will further the work needed in addiction medicine.”

The chair was made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Its resources will expand efforts to address substance disorders that affect patients and families at Mass General, MassGeneral Hospital for Children and surrounding communities.

Addressing addiction is one of the hospital’s top strategic priorities. “Substance use is one of the most significant public health issues our country is facing today, a public health threat that affects our patients and their families, our communities, and the care we give here at the hospital,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “I’m proud of the substance use disorder initiative that’s expanding here at the hospital. We’re hopeful and excited that this chair will further the work needed in addiction medicine.”

Deepening Addiction Medicine’s Reach

Half of substance use disorders in young people begin before age 18, and more than three-quarters begin before age 24. In light of these figures, Dr. Wilens said, the chair is a validation of working in the field of substance use disorders. “Now the third endowed chair in addiction medicine, this sends a signal to how important it is to understand the roots, mechanisms and treatments of substance use disorders,” he said. “It also raises the institutional visibility and subsequent advocacy in the area of substance use disorders.”

“I am deeply moved by being named the inaugural recipient of this chair with which I’ve been entrusted and honored.”

Dr. Wilens is a leading expert in substance use disorders, addiction medicine, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and pediatric and adult psychiatry. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and four books on these topics. This newly-endowed chair will give Dr. Wilens the opportunity to bring new energy to strategies that address substance use disorders across the lifespan and in addiction medicine.

“I am deeply moved by being named the inaugural recipient of this chair with which I’ve been entrusted and honored,” said Dr. Wilens, who is also the co-director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at Mass General. “The honor will be taken very seriously, responsibly and in the spirit of Mass General, namely with devotion to clinical care, research and education.”

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