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Summer 2007, Number 13

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Table of Contents

Coding Changes for Screening and Brief Intervention Services


The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added new codes for physicians to use when seeking reimbursement for alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention. The codes are part of the level II Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System to ensure that claims for health services and products can be processed in a consistent manner.


The new codes became available January 1, 2007. They should help health professionals offer and seek reimbursement for services.


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New Council Members
NIAAA Welcomes New Advisory Council Members.
In May, NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li (above, right) welcomed four new members to the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (left to right): Dr. R. Adron Harris, Dr. Peter M. Monti, Dr. Cindy L. Ehlers, and General Arthur T. Dean.

Alcohol Research Center Directors Meet

On March 12 and 13, directors of NIAAA’s national alcohol research centers met at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Dr. Robert Taylor, director of the Howard University Collaborative Alcohol Research Center and the interim dean of Howard’s College of Medicine, hosted the event.

This year’s theme was “Alcohol abuse and dependence among ethnic populations" The agenda featured two officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as guest speakers.

One was NIH Deputy Director Dr. Raynard Kington, who was familiar with the alcohol research centers from his past experience as the acting director of NIAAA in 2002. His presentation focused on clinical and translational research. The second guest speaker was Dr. John Ruffin, director of NIH’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. He spoke to the group about trans-NIH collaboration in addressing the ongoing challenge of health disparities.

The remainder of the meeting featured presentations by representatives from each center together with discussions moderated by NIAAA’s division directors. NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li provided the group with an update on NIAAA programmatic activities followed by a question-and-answer session.

NIAAA supports 18 alcohol research centers across the country. Leaders from the national network meet every two years to review initiatives and discuss opportunities for scientific collaboration.

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Personnel News


Dr. Beata Buzas joined NIAAA as a scientific review administrator in the Extramural Project Review Branch. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Buzas was the head of NIH’s Inter-Institute Initiative on Functional Genomics of Affective Disorders. She also was an investigator for the National Institute on Mental Health and worked previously for the Laboratory of Neurogenetics, NIAAA.

Dr. Ivana Grakalic recently joined the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior (DNB) to direct a research program on learning and motivational aspects of alcohol addiction. She previously worked for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), where she investigated the role of stress and learning mechanisms in the hedonic actions of morphine, alcohol, and cocaine in animal paradigms.

Robin Kawazoe has become associate director for administration. In this capacity she serves as the executive officer and director of the Office of Resource Management. She also is the deputy ethics counselor. Ms. Kawazoe joined NIAAA in August 2005 as senior advisor to the Director, NIAAA. Before that, she was director of the Office of Science Policy and Planning in the Office of the Director, NIH, a position she had held since December 1996.

Dr. Angela Martinelli has joined the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research as a program administrator. Her previous research focused on active and passive smoking and nicotine and was funded by the Department of Defense. Prior to joining NIAAA, she served in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the Office of Science Policy at NIDA. Dr. Martinelli continues to practice nursing as a volunteer with Operation Smile International.

Dr. John Matochik has joined DNB to direct a research program related to neuroimaging of alcohol use disorders. Previously he worked in NIDA’s Neuroimaging Research Branch conducting functional and structural brain imaging studies. He developed a program to study the effects of drugs of abuse on brain morphology using magnetic resonance imaging and collaborated with NIH researchers in a structural brain-imaging program to study the effects of long-term dietary calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys.

Joanna Yoon has joined the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research as a public health analyst. She will work with staff to use nationally representative survey data to address alcohol epidemiology research questions. Dr. Yoon worked previously as a statistician and section manager for the Division of Biostatistics in the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.


Dr. Peter Delany received the Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Award from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. This award is presented to a health services officer who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments with 8–10 years of healthcare management or public health administration experience.

NIAAA’s College Drinking Prevention Web Sitewas recognized by the 2007 National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC). The Web site earned a third place “Award of Excellence” in its category of the NAGC Gold Screen Awards. NAGC is a national organization for communications professionals in national, State, and local government.

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Fordham Prevention Workshop

Representatives from 40 New York City area colleges and universities met at Fordham University on May 2 for an NIAAA-sponsored workshop on college and underage drinking. Participants reviewed research and evidence-based programs to reduce high-risk drinking. They also discussed how to work together to realize the recommendations put forth by the New York City Council’s “Nightlife Safety Report.” More than 130 administration officials, health educators, prevention professionals, and health counselors attended the meeting, which was organized by NIAAA public liaison officer Fred Donodeo. Workshop attendees included representatives from Princeton, Columbia, Rutgers, and other area colleges and universities. Taped presentations are available on NIAAA’s Web site,

Published by the Office of Science Policy and Communications, NIAAA, NIH, DHHS
NIH Publication No. 07–5346, Web address:
Editor: Gregory Roa, NIAAA Office of Science Policy and Communications
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304, Bethesda, MD 20892–9304
Phone: 301/443–3860, Fax: 301/480–1726

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New Publications

Alcohol Research & Health

Metabolism Covers

Alcohol Metabolism: Part 1–Mechanisms of Action and Part II–A Key to Unlocking Alcohol’s EffectThis special two-part series of Alcohol Research & Health examines the topic of alcohol metabolism. Part I describes alcohol’s metabolic pathways, their genetic variation, and the effects of certain byproducts, such as acetaldehyde, on a range of organs and tissues. Part II examines how differences in metabolism may lead to increased or reduced risk among individuals and ethnic groups for alcohol-related problems, such as alcohol dependence, cancer, fetal alcohol effects, and pancreatitis.

The CoolSpot Web Site

Cool Web Site Cover

Targeted to adolescents, this Web site provides kid-friendly information on alcohol and its effects and the problems that drinking may cause. It also helps children understand and resist peer pressure to drink.

A new section, Teacher’s Corner, has been added for teachers and volunteers in middle schools and after-school programs that include children ages 11–13. It provides lesson plans, readings, and role-playing activities that teachers can use to help children learn important facts about alcohol, peer pressure, and other alcohol-related topics.

Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines

Harmful Interactions Cover

This newly revised brochure provides information on medications that can cause harm when combined with alcohol. The brochure recently has been updated with an expanded list of medications and a user-friendly design that features larger, easier-to-read type.

Surgeon General’s Action Guides Against Underage Drinking for Communities, Educators, and Families

Call to Action Cover

The Surgeon General has released three specially focused Guides: A Guide to Action for Communities, A Guide to Action for Educators, and A Guide to Action for Families. They highlight key issues found in the complete Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. That report, released in March 2007, examines the problem of underage alcohol use and its impact on public health and safety. Each Action Guide offers a 13-page, plain-language summary of the Call to Action with the subtitle: What it Means to YOU. The new Guides give readers the knowledge and tools needed to take action against underage drinking.

To order copies of the Guides, call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 1–800–729–6686 or visit the Web site:

Alcohol Alert
Alcohol and Tobacco: An Update

Alcohol Alert Cover

Alcohol and tobacco are among the top causes of preventable deaths in the United States. Findings on the correlation between alcohol and tobacco use and dependence have important implications for those in the alcohol treatment field. This Alcohol Alert describes the latest research findings, with particular emphasis on how these results can be put into practice in alcohol treatment programs and facilities.

For these NIAAA publications and other resources, visit, or write to: NIAAA, Publications Distribution Center, P.O. Box 10686, Rockville, MD 20849–0686.

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Calendar of Events

NIAAA will participate in or exhibit at the meetings and conferences listed below. For additional information or updates on these events, consult the sponsoring organizations.


July 7-12
Research Society on Alcoholism
30th Annual Scientific Meeting

Chicago, Illinois


August 17-20
American Psychological Association (APA) 115th Annual Convention

San Francisco, CA


September 5-8
National Association of Alcholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)

Nashvile, TN


October 3-6
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

Chicago, IL

October 30
Keller Lecture)

Dr. Boris Tabakoff, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Colorado at Denver, was selected to receive the 2007 Mark Keller Honorary Award. The annual award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to alcohol research. Dr. Tabakoff will give the Keller Lecture on October 30, 2007, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Lipsett Amphitheater in the NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD. For details visit


November 2-7
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Washington, DC

November 3-7
Society for Neuroscience (SFN)

San Diego, CA

November 3-7
American Public Health Association (APHA) 135th Annual Meeting

Washington, DC

November 29-December 2
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) 18th Annual Meeting and Symposium

Coronodo, CA

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Published by the Office of Research Translation and Communications, NIAAA, NIH, DHHS

NIH Publication No. 06–5346

Web address:


Editor: Gregory Roa
NIAAA Office of Science Policy and Communications
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304
Bethesda, MD 20892–9304
Phone: 301/443–3860
Fax: 301/480–1726

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