Boston, MA May 1, 2023 – The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is excited to announce the appointment of Louis E. Baxter, Sr., M.D. to its board beginning in May. As a member of the board, Dr. Baxter will aid in the decision-making processes that affect PAARI programming on a daily basis.
“I am looking forward to joining PAARI and becoming a part of many important conversations surrounding deflection programs,“ says Dr. Baxter. “I believe that the issue of drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment in the criminal justice system is very important, especially in terms of providing secondary preventive measures, and in some cases primary treatment, to help ensure ongoing recovery upon release.”
Dr. Baxter is the President and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc., a nonprofit 501c3 organization that manages impaired healthcare professionals. He is also an Assistant Professor at Howard University in the Department of Community & Family Medicine and serves as Co-Founder and Program Director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program at Howard University Medical School. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School of New Jersey.
Prior to his professional career, Dr. Baxter completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology and American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his Medical Doctorate at Temple University School of Medicine. Furthermore, he completed his Internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at UMDNJ Cooper Hospital University Medical Center and sub-specialized in Addiction Medicine through training at Portsmouth Psychiatric Hospital.
In the field of addiction medicine, Dr. Baxter has gained a plethora of knowledge and experience through holding various positions in the field. He is the Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, served as a Director of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and was a White House Consultant to the ONDCP beginning with the Clinton Administration and ending with the Obama Administration. Furthermore, Dr. Baxter is a Director-At-Large of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, a current member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and is a member of many other medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, American College of Legal Medicine, and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Additionally, he is a consultant to the NFL, NBA, and U.S. Olympic Anti-doping Committee. Dr. Baxter is certified in Addiction Medicine by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).
When asked what he hopes to achieve as a board member, Dr. Baxter says, “It is my hope that working with the other members, we will be able to effectively improve the outcomes for persons involved in the criminal justice system, in terms of addressing their substance use and mental health problems.”
“I am excited to have the privilege of welcoming Dr. Baxter to our trusted board,” says Zoe Grover-Scicchitano, Executive Director of PAARI. “His involvement in the criminal justice field as well as his several positions in the field of addiction medicine makes him a valuable addition to our decision-making process.”
“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and over 650 law enforcement partners in 40 states across the country, we are honored and excited to have Dr. Baxter join PAARI,” says John Rosenthal, PAARI Co-Founder, and Executive Board Chair at PAARI. ”We’re in the life-saving business by working with law enforcement and helping people with substance use disorder access treatment. Who better than Dr. Baxter, to help us continue to break down barriers, reduce stigma and shape our organization and policies in order to better serve our law enforcement partners so they can better serve the people in their communities.”
Written by, Isabella Nowak
About PAARI: The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester, Mass., Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, PAARI has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, strategic guidance, connection to training resources, and other capacity-building resources to more than 650 police departments in 40 states.
PAARI works with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. PAARI and our law enforcement partners are working towards a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved tens of thousands of lives, changed police culture, and reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.