About Kelly J. Clark, MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly J. Clark
Dr. Kelly J. Clark

Board certified in both addiction medicine and psychiatry, Kelly J. Clark, MD, MBA, DFAPA, DFASAM is a practicing physician, business leader and recognized expert on issues related to substance misuse involving opioids as well as other illicit and prescription substances.

Considered one of the nation’s leading experts on substance use disorder and addiction care, she is frequently invited to testify about the disease of addiction and needed systems of treatment before Congress and to federal organizations and other drug policy stakeholders, including the United States Presidential Opioid Commission, Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions, the Office of Comptroller General, the National Association of Attorneys General, the National Association for the Advancement of Science, Pew Trusts, National Safety Council, National Business Group on Health, American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Judges and Psychiatrists Initiative, and the Council of State Governments’ Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.

Known for building consensus across diverse stakeholder groups, Dr. Clark works actively across the medical, scientific, criminal justice, and business communities to transform addiction care into evidence-based, cost-effective practice. Her approach to the U.S. drug crisis is summarized in her comments to the Presidential Opioid Commission: “We need to stop doing what we know doesn’t work and put our resources behind what we know does.” As Immediate Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the national association that represents more than 6,500 addiction physician specialists and allied health professionals, she helped the organization lead bipartisan and multi-stakeholder coalitions to pass new legislation and policies, including the CARA, CURES, and SUPPORT Acts, as well as helping update HHS guidelines to allow expanded evidence-based treatment access. As Vice Chair of ASAM’s COVID-19 rapid-response task force, she has provided critical guidance to patients, providers, programs and policymakers on accessing addiction treatment during a global pandemic. As Chief Medical Officer for two multi-state outpatient treatment organizations in the US, she was instrumental in the growth of access to quality treatment for tens of thousands of patients in 14 states.  As Behavioral Health Medical Director of CDPHP, a non-profit health insurance plan in New York, she helped guide the in-sourcing of behavioral health benefits, which improved the quality and value of care received by members by integrating physical and behavioral health teams. As Medical Director at CVS Caremark, Dr. Clark addressed issues such as the overutilization of controlled substances as well as decreased access to methamphetamine precursor substances in the retail pharmacy environment.

Dr. Clark’s experience spans emergency, acute, sub-acute, and chronic institutions; community, county, state, federal sites; and voluntary, involuntary, criminal justice and correctional settings. Working on Fraud, Waste and Abuse Teams, she targeted prescribers, retail pharmacies, and distributors engaging in aberrant behaviors, and currently uses these data analytic skills in a variety of criminal cases, primarily for the US Department of Justice. She has provided court testimony as an expert witness in federal district courts in Florida and Kentucky, as well as consulting on cases in multiple other jurisdictions on issues including sex and drug trafficking, health care fraud, and conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances. She served as faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School for eight years training students and resident physicians on the inpatient dual diagnosis unit as well as in outpatient, partial hospital, and consultative settings. She was founding faculty at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and she continues her work as a founding member of the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit Advisory Board.

Dr. Clark serves as a leader in the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, and  served as a contributing consultant to the recent “Opioids and the Workplace: An Employer Toolkit for Supporting Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery” with the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, a member of the  Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. She is currently active on policy boards for several think tanks, organizations and innovative companies including the Milken Institute, ASAM, Dispose RX, Bicycle Health, and Path CCM.

Dr. Clark earned her Doctorate in Medicine from University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; an MBA with Certificate in Health Sector Management from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Durham, NC; and a BA in psychology from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA.  She completed residency in psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin.