CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Penny S. Mills, former executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), with the Medical Executive Lifetime Achievement Award. Mills was honored by the AMA as a medical association executive who has contributed substantially to the goals and ideals of the medical profession.

“Over the course of several decades, Penny Mills dedicated her career to patient-centered health care—most recently exemplified by her passion for the advancement of the field of addiction medicine,” said AMA Board Chair Russ Kridel, M.D. “It is an honor to recognize Mills for her leadership and dedication to helping people with substance abuse disorders and preserving their access to quality treatment to ensure millions of Americans who suffer from addiction will have a better chance at remission and recovery.”

Mills has served in leadership positions with a range of health care organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, where she held senior positions for 15 years. Prior to leading ASAM, Mills held a senior role at Avalere Health and early in her career managed mental health and substance abuse services for a major health system.

Under Mills’ leadership, ASAM helped give the field of addiction medicine a political voice by strengthening its advocacy and coalition-building efforts on Capitol Hill and with state legislators. During this time, ASAM grew its membership 155 percent as it expanded its educational training and resources for physicians to treat addiction. Mills has sent strong staff and member support to expand ASAM’s AMA delegation and to work together on legislation to eliminate barriers to medication for treatment of opioid use disorders.

A graduate of Cornell University, Mills is a recipient of the Senator Harold Hughes Memorial Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), one of the National Institutes of Health.

The AMA presented the award to Mills during the November 2020 Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.

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