HATTIESBURG — Several physicians from Pine Grove Behavioral Health are among the first physicians in the United States certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), a new independent medical specialty board. The board has begun to certify addiction medicine physicians from several specialties, including Pine Grove addictionologists Deborah Gross, M.D., Scott Hambleton, M.D.; Ellen Ovson, M.D.; Randall Sherman, M.D.; Chapman Sledge, M.D., and psychiatrist Diane Walker, M.D. Previously, addiction-related board certification was only available for psychiatrists. With these new certifications, ABAM sets standards for physician education, assesses physicians’ knowledge, and requires and tracks life-long continuing education for physicians in many specialties.
“The American Board of Addiction Medicine will provide assurance to the American public that addiction medicine physicians have the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and treat addiction,” said Kevin B. Kunz, M.D., president of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Created in 2007, with the assistance and encouragement of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, ABAM offers a rigorous certifying examination that was developed by an expert panel and the National Board of Medical Examiners, as well as a maintenance of certification examination to ensure that ABAM-certified physicians maintain life-long competence in addiction medicine.
“We are very proud that our addiction medicine physicians have this unique distinction as ABAM certified,” said Debbie Sanford, Forrest General Hospital’s vice president of behavioral health services. “Our physicians continue to strive to enhance their knowledge in the field, which further enhances the quality of care we provide at Pine Grove.”
— Mississippi Business Journal