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


Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Addiction medicine, Allied health professions related to addiction, and Addiction research (IDEAAA) is an initiative funded by Boston Medical Center (BMC) and launched in the summer of 2020. Over the next 5 years, IDEAAA aims to leverage existing programs at BMC and Boston University (BU) in order to increase diversity, equity and inclusion within the field of addiction utilizing the following 3 approaches:

Approach 1

2021 BMC Volunteer Summer Program

Integrating addiction-related case studies, research questions, and shadowing experiences into existing programs engaging underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields

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 integrating addiction-related topics into these high school and undergraduate programs are to reduce stigma associated with addiction and to reveal addiction-related work as an exciting, viable career path.

Approach 2

Extending 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

Our goals are to:

  1. Increase the likelihood of successful application and participation in these programs by members of underrepresented groups
  2. Provide additional funding and logistical aid (e.g., travel funds, childcare) for program participants to maximize the likelihood that they apply for, can attend, and fully participate in these programs.

Approach 3

Supporting retention of diverse faculty doing addiction-related work by linking them to funded research projects

We will work with the BU Office of Sponsored Programs and BMC Research Operations/Pre Award Office to develop a “turnkey” program which will be built for administrative/diversity supplement applications for eligible addiction grants.

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 research related to addiction and are looking for resources? Come join the IDEAAA team (Kaku So-Armah, Emily Hurstak, Jules Canfield) during drop-in office hours for new hires at BMC/BU every Friday from 10:00am-12:00pm. We are also happy to schedule 1-on-1 calls if that timing does not work out. 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 – Program Manager

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