Cara Poland, MD, MEd, FACP, DFASAM, Appointed to Key Commission

The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) congratulates Cara Poland, MD, MEd, FACP, DFASAM, on her appointment to Michigan’s new Opioid Advisory Commission. Doctor Poland (Kent County Medical Society), who also chairs the MSMS Task Force on Opioid Stewardship, was nominated by MSMS and appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake). Trained in internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and in addiction medicine at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Doctor Poland is nationally known for her work in training physician-level addiction specialists to improve care for patients with substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders. Doctor Poland’s leadership has also been integral to implementing curricular changes in medical schools to offer more training in treating persons with substance use disorders. Board certified in addiction medicine, her clinical focus is working with pregnant and parenting women and their families.

In May, a package of bills (Senate Bills 993, 994, and 995) was enacted to facilitate the spending of Michigan’s portion of the national opioid settlement. Michigan is expected to receive nearly $800 million dollars over the course of 18 years from the settlement. As part of the bill package, Senate Bill 994 (now Public Act 84 of 2020) established the Opioid Advisory Commission to review local, state, and federal initiatives and activities related to education, prevention, treatment, and services for people and families affected by substance use disorder and make recommendations to the Legislature. The commission of 12 voting members appointed by substance leadership who have experience in use prevention, health care, mental health, law, local government, first responder enforcement work, or similar fields.

As the bills moved through the Legislature, MSMS advocated for the appointment of health professionals with meaningful experience treating individuals with substance use disorder and/or chronic pain to the commission. On July 21stHouse and Senate leadership announced their appointments to the Opioid Advisory Commission.

The 11 other commission appointmentees are:

  • Katherine Hude, executive director of the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals
  • Kyle Rambo, CEO of Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula
  • Cameron Risma, medical director and addiction psychiatrist at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
  • Judge Linda Davis, executive director of Families Against Narcotics
  • Mario Nanos, president of Families Against Narcotics
  • Patrick Patterson, executive director of Mid-Michigan Recovery Services Inc.
  • Scott Masi, president of Unite to Face Addiction – Michigan
  • Kelly Ainsworth, project manager for the Greater Flint Health Coalition
  • Bradley Casemore, CEO of Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health.
  • Mona Makki, director of ACCESS Community Health and Research Center
  • Sarah Stoddard, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing


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