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Boston Medical Center Appoints Michael Botticelli Executive Director of the new Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine

Obama's Drug Policy Advisor Changed the US Approach to Addiction

BOSTON– On the heels of the $25 million gift from John and Eilene Grayken to intensify Boston Medical Center’s fight against the burgeoning opioid epidemic, BMC today named Michael Botticelli the first executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine.

Botticelli, one of the nation’s leading addiction experts, served as the Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House under President Obama. 

Botticelli was the first person to hold the position who was also in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder and who came from a public health background. His predecessors were law enforcement officials, doctors and a military general. 

“Michael embodies every item on the wish list of what we wanted in the ideal Director of the Grayken Center and he is the perfect fit for the Center and its ability to lead in this battle,” said Boston Medical Center CEO Kate Walsh.  “Michael was instrumental in getting the fight against addiction to the top of the national agenda.  He fought for additional funding, and worked closely with groups across the country to develop and replicate clinical treatment programs that work.  But he also led the way on shaping our country’s understanding of addiction as a disease, not a moral failing or character flaw, and that patients with substance use disorder deserve treatment not punishment.  He is a true leader in addiction medicine.”

This marks a return for Mr. Botticelli to Boston, where he previously served as Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, working closely with many BMC experts and others to extend successful models of care developed at BMC across the state and the nation. He has served in a variety of leadership roles for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.  He has also co-authored many peer-reviewed articles that have significantly contributed to the field.   Born in Upstate New York, Mr. Botticelli holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College and a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence University. He is also in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder, celebrating more than 28 years of recovery.

“I am excited and a bit in awe of the opportunity to work with this team to build the Grayken Center on the already strong foundation of great work in addiction medicine at BMC,” said Botticelli.  “BMC’s international leadership in research, teaching, and clinical programming on substance use disorders and their consequences is well known.  And the Grayken’s extraordinary gift makes it possible to spark innovation on new models of treatment and care that will have real impact.”

The Grayken Center's mission will focus on three aspects of addiction medicine:

  • Research – The Center will increase the pace of innovative research at BMC, already one of the most highly respected addictions research programs in the country, with a body of published work that has transformed addiction care. It will enable further multi-disciplinary research on new approaches examining innovative care models.
  • Treatment –The Grayken Center will increase BMC’s reach in developing and testing new care models, bringing together experts to establish metrics against which outcomes can be tracked and more advanced data and analytics infrastructure developed.
  • Training and Prevention –The Grayken Center will join with key government agencies and lawmakers to reduce barriers to addiction treatment.  It will expand existing training programs for doctors, nurses and other clinicians on addiction medicine, and will develop educational materials for prescribers.



About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 487-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. Committed to providing high-quality health care to all, the hospital offers a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services including primary and family medicine and advanced specialty care with an emphasis on community-based care. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $117 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2016. It is the 13th largest recipient of funding in the U.S. from the National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. In 1997, BMC founded Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Inc., now one of the top ranked Medicaid MCOs in the country, as a non-profit managed care organization. It does business in Massachusetts as BMC HealthNet Plan and as Well Sense Health Plan in New Hampshire, serving 290,000 people, collectively. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet – 14 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit

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