Einstein/Montefiore Department of Medicine

Dr. Chinazo Cunningham Selected as Advisor to CDC on Opioid Epidemic

Chinazo Cunningham, MD, MS, a professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine); Associate Chief, General Internal Medicine; and Director, General Internal Medicine Fellowship Program, has been selected to serve on the CDC’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). This prestigious honor recognizes Dr. Cunningham’s extensive expertise and contributions in the area of drug addiction and treatment. Dr. Cunningham will advise the NCIPC – the CDC branch that deals with unintentional drug overdoses - on how to best address the opioid epidemic, and will serve on the board through August 2022.

She will be among 18 board members who will advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; the CDC Director; and the Director of the NCIPC, regarding surveillance, basic epidemiologic research, and intervention research, in addition to implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of promising and evidence-based strategies for the prevention of injury and violence. The Board makes recommendations regarding policies, strategies, objectives, projects, and priorities, and reviews progress toward injury and violence prevention.

“This is an important role - to be at the table to help guide public policy during this national opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Cunningham. “I'm honored to be a representative of our Division and Department, and of Montefiore/Einstein.”

Dr. Cunningham has spent 20 years providing care, developing programs and conducting research focused on people who use drugs. She has previously served on numerous national advisory committees; this includes serving as chair of NY State Department of Health’s Substance Use Guideline Committee, chair of the NIH’s Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section, member of the NIH Office of AIDS Research’s Racial and Ethnic Populations Committee, and member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s National Practice Guideline Committee for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use. Her research centers on drug addiction and treatment, particularly opioid addiction and the use of buprenorphine for treatment. She currently serves on the NY City and State Health Departments’ Buprenorphine Advisory Committees, and was a member of the CDC's Opioid Guideline Workgroup, which issued recommendations for tighter prescription guidelines in March 2016.

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