Executive Fellowship educates health professionals on addiction medicine

Dr. Ken Zoucha, left, has started an addiction medicine executive fellowship and Carey Wheelhouse, MPAS, PA-C; Jon Kilstrom, MPAS, PA-C; and Dr. Heather Spain have signed up to learn more about how to use the medication in addictions.

In November, Dr. Ken Zoucha, with help from the addictions division, started an Addiction Medicine Executive Fellowship to educate residents and health professionals on addiction medicine.

“I felt that getting more education about addiction medicine into the curriculum was necessary and was really important,” said Dr. Zoucha. “I kept hearing from folks that they weren’t getting enough training in addiction medicine.”

The fellows will spend their time seeing patients at several locations, including the Intensive Outpatient Program clinic and Veterans Affairs Administration.

Jon Kilstrom, MPAS, PA-C, Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Skills for the College of Allied Health, was the first person to sign up for the executive fellowship.

“I have an interest in addiction medicine, and the big thing right now is medication-assisted treatment,” Kilstrom said. “I wanted to learn the principles and then share what I had learned with my students.”

Dr. Zoucha said participants will receiving training to receive the DEA waiver to prescribe Suboxone, which is used to help with the opioid-use disorder.

“Hopefully, patients will get the Suboxone, fellows learn that it’s a good healthy way to treat the opioid-use disorder and share what they have learned with their colleagues,” said Dr. Zoucha.

In December, Child Fellow Dr. Heather Spain and Carey Wheelhouse, MPAS, PA-C, registered for the executive fellowship. Wheelhouse said one of the reasons she signed up for the fellowship was to learn about how to use the medication in addictions treatment. Dr. Spain said she sees a lot of adolescents who struggle with substance use issues.

“I wanted to be more comfortable with the identification of the disorders but also the treatment of the addictions,” said Dr. Spain. “The fellowship has made me feel more comfortable with identification and treatment.”

Anyone interested in the Addiction Medicine Executive Fellowship should contact Liz Weise at 402-552-6170 or elizabeth.wiese@unmc.edu. Dr. Zoucha will hold a grand rounds presentation on the fellowship at noon on Jan. 9 in room 2018 in the Sorrell Center.

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