NNESAM President’s Update – 9.22.21

Greetings fellow NNESAM Members,
This is the inaugural edition of a newsletter coming from your NNESAM officers as part of an effort to improve communication with our diverse membership scattered across the three states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I believe our diversity of residences and practice settings is a strength that we can draw on to support a network of addiction medicine professionals who can network with each other and learn from our differing approaches and practice settings.

To introduce us, here are your current NNESAM officers:
James Berry, M.D., President
Molly Rossignol, D.O., President-elect
Audrey Kern, M.D., Immediate Past-President
Judy Burk, M.D., Treasurer
Mark Bucksbaum, M.D., Secretary
2021-2022 NNESAM Elections
I encourage you to attend our upcoming 2021 Virtual NNESAM Annual Meeting, which will take place Saturday, December 4, 2021 starting at 9 am. We will start with our Annual Business Meeting and then transition to an hour-long session led by Gary Miller, entitled, “Writing for Recovery: The Healing Power of Seven Short Minutes,” please see the description of this session below. We will then feature several interactive sessions focused on sharing how NNESAM members became addiction medicine specialists, NNESAM advocacy topics or participate in a writing session with the Writing for Recovery tools. There is no cost to attend this meeting; you can sign up for the whole program or choose to attend just one session of the agenda. (Please see the draft agenda below). This meeting is going to be fun! We will provide you a chance to make new connections and learn something meaningful! Note: Our CME-qualified sessons have moved to our Spring Conference.

This will also be the last time we hold a December NNESAM meeting, as we are transitioning to offer our Spring NNESAM Scientific Conference every year in May or June. During this conference, we will offer several CME-qualified sessions and offer networking and advocacy opportunities as well! 

I also want to let you know about our upcoming election of officers occuring between October 4th and November 5th of this year. Please look for electronic ballot which will be emailed to you and please vote! Your vote will elect the 2021-2023 NNESAM officers, whose term runs for two years. You will have the opportunity to write-in a candidate as well.

The goal of the NNESAM Board over the upcoming two-year term is to increase recruitment and involvement. We want to create more leadership opportunites with NNESAM and expand our impact with new committees and projects. There are two initiatives we have undertaken that should facilitate member involvement.

The first, already completed, is hiring administrative staff from the Vermont Medical Society to take on administrative duties and communications. In addition we are creating specific committees to take a deeper dive into the projects NNESAM members want to do more of, which initially include committees focused on: finance, legislative/advocacy (with sections for each state), and organizing our 2022 scientific conference. We are reaching out to all of you to recruit you to participate in one of these committees – your voice matters! All levels of members: student, to associate, to retired—can make a big impact with a small contribution. We will be recruiting officer candidates for the Nov. 2023 to 2025 cycle from those active in committee work and we are always seeking member involvement from everyone and especially our younger and newer members!

Feel free to email me Jim Berry at jameswesleyberry@gmail.com if you have ideas about how you can assist NNESAM, how NNESAM can help you with your professional goals, and what issues NNESAM should focus on in the future! Go to nnesam.org to learn more
NNESAM 2021 Virtual Conference December 4th, 2021(draft agenda)
9am -10 am – NNESAM 2021 Annual Business Meeting
10am-11am – Writing for Recovery: The Healing Power of Seven Short Minutes, with Gary Miller
11am-12pm – Interactive Breakout Sessions: Details to be confirmed ASAP
Writing for Recovery: The Healing Power of Seven Short MinutesDescriptionSince its founding in 2015, Writers for Recovery has held writing workshops for people with substance use disorder in recovery centers, correctional facilities, and community organizations across Vermont and around the world via Zoom. WFR has one abiding rule: there’s no way to do it wrong. Writing using short, 7-minute prompts, our participants unlock and process their experiences, then share them in group, online, and even in public readings. By doing this, they confront the trauma and shame associated with their substance use and its negative impacts on their lives. They form supportive communities of people committed to recovery. And they use the words they’ve written and the deep sharing in our groups to support their pathways to recovery, no matter what they might be. In this workshop, Gary will share the story of WFR and show how short prompts and positive feedback can be a key to unlocking story, processing trauma, forming community, and reinforcing recovery.Objective(s): Learn the power of short writing prompts to help people in recovery unlock story, process trauma, form community, and support their recoveries.Gary Miller is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Writers for Recovery. A person in long-term recovery, Gary works as a writer, editor, and content developer. He is the author of the fiction collection Museum of the Americas and the newly-released “There’s No Way to Do It Wrong! How to Get Young Learners to Take Risks, Tell Stories, Share Opinions, and Fall in Love with Writing.”