Andrew Gaddis, a medical student at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and 2011 OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow, was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship that he’ll use to study the effectiveness of opioid replacement therapy. Gaddis will spend his Fulbright year at Insite, a supervised injection facility (SIF) in Vancouver.
“I want to become a source of knowledge about this treatment strategy,” Gaddis said in the press release. “The experience will help me better advocate for the development of similar programs in the U.S.”
Scott Nolen, director of OSI-Baltimore’s Drug Addiction Treatment program, agrees that SIFs are a model worth exploring. “There is a small but growing movement to explore the possibilities of safe injection facilities in the United States,” he says. “Several cities have government officials and community advocates researching the issue. And given Baltimore’s history with injection-based heroin use and the recent spike in overdose numbers, it will be important for our communities to be a part of that national discussion.”
During his fellowship, Gaddis created the Charm City Clinic, a community-based health clinic dedicated to helping residents of low-income communities in Baltimore attain and sustain access to high quality health care.