who we are

The major players in the work of this foundation are clinicians with a special interest in and commitment to medical education about addiction.


Kenneth Saffier, MD
Dr. Saffier is a family physician specializing in addiction medicine and chronic pain management in the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers where he is faculty in their UCSF affiliated family medicine residency program. He is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.




lembkeAnna Lembke, MD 
Dr. Lembke received her undergraduate degree in Humanities from Yale University and her medical degree from Stanford University. She continued on at Stanford to complete a residency in psychiatry. She is currently Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatryand Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she also serves as Program Director for the Stanford Addiction Medicine Program (SAMP); Chief of the Stanford Dual Diagnosis Clinic; and Chief of the Stanford Addiction Psychiatry Initiative.
As a member of the Stanford faculty, Dr. Lembke sees patients, teaches, and does research. Her current work focuses on integrating and enhancing addiction treatment within general medical care.


Gloria Sanchez, MD
Dr. Sanchez is a Harbor UCLA Medical Center Department of Family Medicine faculty member.  She attended University of Washington Medical School and has focused her career on assessing and trying to meet the needs of underserved communities.  Teaching future physicians the critical skills necessary to assess and treat substance use disorders has become a primary goal with the medical students and residents she teaches. Her goal remains to create national initiatives in medical training and public policy that meet the needs of vulnerable patient's suffering from substance use disorders. 

Board Member

Steven J. Eickelberg, MD, DFASAM, FAPA
Dr. Eickelberg, an addiction psychiatrist, is a graduate of Oregon Health & Science University and received training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Dr. Eickelberg is a diplomate of both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and he is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.Over the past 30 years, he has worked in a wide variety of clinical and educational settings, including Kaiser Permanente, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, consultant to Major League Baseball, consultant to the FAA, providing assessments and monitoring for the FAA and aviation professionals, Medical Director of the Betty Ford Center, and he was co-director of two addiction medicine fellowship programs (Loma Linda University School of Medicine-Kaiser Permanente combined program and the Betty Ford Center). Dr. Eickelberg has served on the Executive Council of the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) since 1995, the MERF Board of Directors since 1999, and has been the President of MERF since 2002. In 2014 CSAM presented Dr. Eickelberg with the Vernelle Fox Award.  

Board Member

Julie G. Nyquist, PhD
Dr. Nyquist is a Professor in the Division of Medical Education at the University of Southern California. She joined the faculty in 1981, directs the Master of Academic Medicine, and has specialized expertise in evaluation and faculty development. Dr. Nyquist has given over 250 workshops, nationally and internationally, to faculty members from a variety of health professions. From 1993 to 2001 she also served as the Director of Medical Education at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California, where she provided oversight for all educational activities (undergraduate, graduate, CME, and faculty development) within the Medical Center. Professor Nyquist received her doctorate in Educational Psychology at Michigan State University in 1981.


Board Member

Maureen Strohm, MD, FAAFP
Dr. Strohm is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Keck USC School of Medicine and the Program Director at the Sunrise Health GME Consortium Family Medicine Residency in Las Vegas, NV. Since 1984, Dr. Strohm has had a career in family medicine education, with a focus on addiction medicine education of medical students and residents. From 1995 to 2009, she served as Residency Director for the USC/California Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, and is now developing a new Family Medicine Residency at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and planning key components of training in collaboration with our colleagues at the Betty Ford Center.


Founding Member
Garrett O'Connor, MD 
Dr. Connor was an internationally renowned psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician. He was Medical Director of Beit T'shuvah Residential Treatment Center. He served as the Chief Psychiatrist at the Betty Ford Center, prior to becoming the President of the Betty Ford Institute. He is remembered for combining scientific rigor and passion with honesty, wit, tenderness, and humor. Dr. O’Connor had a strong commitment to medical education about addiction and gave everything he could to help those suffering from the disease of addiction, including by sharing his own personal struggles with the disease. And he consistently argued that as we come to a better understanding of the biological roots of addiction, we need to not lose sight of psychological and social factors and the importance of spirituality in recovery.