Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Addiction Medicine: The IDEAAA Program


The Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Addiction medicine, Addiction research, and Addiction health professions (IDEAAA) Program is an initiative funded by Boston Medical Center (BMC) that launched in the summer of 2020, with a mission to improve and foster diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within the field of addiction through the education, mentorship, and advancement of people who are historically excluded and underrepresented in the addiction workforce. Over the next three years, IDEAAA aims to leverage existing programs at BMC and Boston University (BU) in order to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging of underrepresented groups (URGs) within the field of addiction by utilizing the following three-pronged approach:

Check out our program summary highlighted in the second issue of Together @ BMCHS | 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Year in Review (p. 28) and the third issue of Together @ BMCHS | 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Year in Review (p. 29)

Approach 1

2021 BMC Volunteer Summer Program

Approach 1 strives to integrate addiction-related case studies, facilitate research projects and opportunities, and coordinate shadowing experiences into existing programs to engage young learners in the premedical, medical, and STEM pipeline from underrepresented groups.

These programs include the Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC)Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) Program, and Summer Training as Research Scholars (STaRS) Program.

The goals of introducing and engaging high school and undergraduate programs to addiction-related topics are to reduce stigma associated with addiction and to reveal addiction-related work as an exciting and viable career path.

Approach 2

Approach 2 extends outreach in existing addiction medicine training programs including, but not limited to, the Chief Resident Immersion Training Program in Addiction Medicine (CRIT), Fellow Immersion Training Program in Addiction Medicine (FIT), and Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars (RAMS) Program

The goals are to increase the likelihood of successful application and participation in these programs and to provide additional funding and logistical aid (e.g., travel funds, childcare) to maximize the likelihood that members from URGs can apply, attend, and fully participate in these programs.

Approach 3

Approach 3 supports the retention of diverse faculty doing addiction-related work by linking junior faculty and trainees to resources including mentors, funded research projects, grants, and data.

The goal is to accelerate scholarship, facilitate mentoring, and ultimately catalyze advancement of members of groups underrepresented in addiction-related work.

Drop-in Sessions

Do you have an interest in a career and/or research related to addiction and are looking for resources? Come join the IDEAAA team (Kaku So-Armah) during drop-in office hours for new hires at BMC/BU every Friday from 10:00am-12:00pm EST. We are also happy to schedule 1-on-1 calls if you are unable to attend at that time. Please contact Kaku So-Armah ( for the zoom link or to schedule a time.

Things we offer include:

  • Connections to datasets (have you heard about URBAN ARCH?)
  • Connections to existing grants with potential for applying for low-barrier research supplemental funding
  • Connections to mentors in relevant fields
  • Connections to faculty development resources
  • Virtual coffee and tea

We look forward to hearing from you and finding ways to make your transition into BMC/BU feel a little less stressful.

IDEAAA Faculty

Kaku So-Armah, PhD – Program Director

Emily Hurstak, MD, MPH – Co-Investigator


Jules Canfield headshot

Jules Canfield, MPH – Senior Program Manager

Amanda Fitzpatrick, MPH – Project Coordinator

Sophia Ly, MS – Project Coordinator

For more information about IDEAAA, or if you are interested in collaborating, please contact Jules Canfield (Program Manager) at or Amanda Fitzpatrick (Project Coordinator) at