History: The Student Coalition on Addiction, originally Medical Students for Long Island, was formed after the closure of the Long Island bridge displaced hundreds of patients with homelessness or substance use disorders, disconnecting them from treatment and safe housing. Students from all four Massachusetts medical school came together to advocate for access to housing and healthcare for patients affected by the bridge closure, especially those with substance use disorders.

Mission: We are a group of healthcare students working in solidarity with Massachusetts’ most marginalized residents with and at risk for substance use disorders – those disadvantaged by homelessness, poverty, racism, and other systemic forces. We advocate to the healthcare community, government, and general public in order to:

  1. Prevent addiction
  2. Improve addiction treatment access and outcomes
  3. Reduce harm by ensuring safer substance use
  4. Address the systemic forces, including lack of access to housing, that underlie and exacerbate addiction
  5. Improve education and attitudes of health professionals and members of the public about addiction.

For more information or media requests, please contact us at: studentcoalitiononaddiction@gmail.com

Board of Advisors:

Mardge Cohen

Medical Director, Women Equity in AIDS Care and Treatment-Rwanda (WE-ACTx)
Physician, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program

Mark Eisenberg
Physician, MGH Charlestown

Ken Freedman
Chief Medical Officer, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital
Board of Directors, American Society of Addiction Medicine

Todd Griswold
Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Laura Grubb
Assistant Professor, Tufts Medical School

Colleen LaBelle
Program Director, State Technical Assistance Treatment Expansion, Office Based Opioid Treatment Program with Buprenorphine

Sarah Mackin
Director of Harm Reduction, Boston Public Health Commission
Sarah Mackin is the Director of Harm Reduction Services for the City of Boston, and oversees AHOPE Needle Exchange where she began as an outreach worker in 2010. She has over 13 years of experience in the field of substance use, HIV/AIDS, homelessness and drug user health. She received her master’s degree in health policy from Boston University in 2014.

Kiame Mahaniah
Chief Medical Officer, Lynn Community Health Center

Shunda McGahee
Physician, Massachusetts Mental Health Center

Claudia Rodriguez
Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Gordon Schiff
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Jim Stewart
Director, First Church Shelter

Joji Suzuki
Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Sarah Wakeman
Medical Director, Substance Use Disorders Initiative, MGH
Physician, MGH Charlestown

Alex Walley
Medical Director, Opioid Treatment Program, Boston Public Health Commission
Medical Director, Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, Department of Public Health
Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine

Stephen P. Wood
Executive Director, STOP: Opiate Abuse Task Force
Co-Chair, Winchester Hospital Opiate Stewardship Committee
Stephen Wood is an acute care nurse practitioner at the department of emergency medicine at Winchester Hospital. He is also the associate medical director for Winchester Fire and Police departments, and holds a Bachelor in Science from Rivier University, a Master of Science in Toxicology from Northeastern University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. He is a term lecturer at the MGH Institute of Health Professions and Northeastern University as well as a lecturer for the Northeastern University EMT program.