New Team Members Join Center on Addiction and Addictions Institute of Mount Sinai Strategic Alliance

Center on Addiction and the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai (AIMS) are pleased to announce the addition of three new team members in support of a strategic alliance formed between the organizations.

This collaboration combines the clinical expertise of AIMS with the research, policy and advocacy resources of Center on Addiction to design innovative and effective models of addiction treatment for adolescent and young adult populations.

Shilpa Taufique, PhD has been named as the Director of the alliance. In this role, Dr. Taufique will drive the alliance’s initiatives to develop, implement and measure the efficacy of new interventions for opioid use disorder across the Mount Sinai Health System, with a focus on adolescents and young adults. She will also develop and implement the clinical arm of alliance projects and ensure achievement of clinical intervention-related milestones; participate in research and efficacy measurement related to the alliance projects; and serve as primary spokesperson and liaison of the alliance to internal and external stakeholders. Dr. Taufique will also maintain her roles as the Director of the Division of Psychology for the Mount Sinai Health System, and as the Director of the Comprehensive Adolescent Rehabilitation and Education Service at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s.

Kara Bagot, MD, is joining Mount Sinai in October and will serve as the Medical Director of the alliance. In this role, she will focus on assessing the efficacy of the clinical alliance initiatives, serve as the physician expert and work with Dr. Taufique in the engagement and liaison work with internal and external stakeholders. Dr. Bagot is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and her research background is in adolescent substance use disorders (SUDs) and overlapping childhood psychopathology. She completed her adult and child and adolescent psychiatry and clinical research training at Yale University School of Medicine Child Study Center. Dr. Bagot’s current work focuses on the effects of technology (e.g. social media, video gaming, internet use) on development of SUDs and psychiatric illness in children and adolescents, and ways to use mobile and digital technologies to improve assessment, monitoring and treatment of SUDs in adolescents.

Also joining the team Rachel Weller, PsyD, has been appointed Project Manager for the alliance. In this role, Dr. Weller will be responsible for all project management administration and will support the director and research director to ensure successful operational execution of the projects. She will also assist Drs. Taufique and Bagot with development and implementation of the clinical arm of alliance projects and with monitoring achievement of clinical intervention-related milestones. Dr. Weller is a licensed clinical psychologist whose clinical interests include trauma and resilience, co-occurring disorders (mental health and chemical dependency), diversity issues and program development.

“It is the hope of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai and Center on Addiction that new approaches and best practices identified by this strategic alliance will help inform how other health care systems approach addiction to better serve young people in need of support,” said Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai.

Currently, only 17 percent of people who need addiction treatment receive it, but few receive care that is evidence-based. Adolescents and young adults are even less likely to receive effective substance use disorder treatment.