Miriam Komaromy, MD

Miriam Komaromy, MD, associate director of Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, has won the 2015 award for best manuscript from a prestigious academic journal.

Komaromy’s manuscript, Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes): A new model for educating primary care providers about treatment of substance use disorders (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26848803), was published in the April 2016 issue of Substance Abuse.

Komaromy describes how the ECHO model is being used to expanded access to treatment for opioid use and behavioral health disorders in rural and underserved areas throughout New Mexico. The manuscript also documents how, due to Komaromy and her team’s efforts, New Mexico is now near the top among U.S. states in the number of DATA-2000 buprenorphine-waivered physicians per capita. Buprenorphine is used in the treatment of those addicted to opioids, such as heroin and oxycodone.

“This is a great honor for Dr. Komaromy and her team,” Project ECHO director Sanjeev Arora, MD, said.  “Their work to expand access to care for opioid addiction has the potential to have transformative impact in the United States.”

All articles published in Substance Abuse between October 2015 and September 2016 were eligible for consideration for the award, said Adam Gordon, MD, the journal’s editor-in-chief.

“The ‘best’ manuscripts are those that clearly articulate research or policies designed to advance the identification and treatment of substance use disorders and/or the training of addiction care providers,” Gordon said. Komaromy’s article is one of the journal’s most-downloaded manuscripts since its publication, he added.

Komaromy, an associate professor in UNM’s Department of Internal Medicine, has been the medical director of Project ECHO’s substance use disorder programs since 2005. She is board certified in addiction medicine and internal medicine, and was trained at the University of California, San Francisco, where she also served on the faculty for a number of years. She is also board chair for the New Mexico non-profit Healing Addiction in Our Community.