Who We Are


Maureen Strohm, MD, FAAFP, DFASAM
Dr. Maureen Strohm is a family physician and addiction medicine specialist, now founding program director for HCA Sunrise Health’s inaugural Addiction Medicine Fellowship in Las Vegas, NV – the first addiction medicine fellowship in Nevada. She began her career in medical education following her graduation from Georgetown University School of Medicine and UCLA Family Medicine Residency, serving as a NHSC scholar in downtown and East Los Angeles, when she joined the Keck USC faculty.

Over the years, her passion for medical education has been a key focus, combining the fundamentals of doctor-patient communication, family dynamics, the bio-psycho-social model, and clinical care of one of most marginalized patient groups in healthcare today – patients and families with substance use disorders. She was a Family Medicine program director at Keck USC for many years, and then moved to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage as founding FM program director, later moving on to Las Vegas to establish another family medicine residency with the HCA Sunrise Health GME Consortium, now turning her attention to launch a new Addiction Medicine fellowship.

An active member of CSAM throughout her career, she has been a member of the MERF Board of Directors since 2011, as part of the faculty team developing the Motivational Interviewing workshops over the years.

Vice President

Gloria Sanchez, MD, FASAM
Dr. Sanchez is a family physician and addiction medicine specialist at Harbor UCLA Medical Center Department of Family Medicine. She attended University of Washington Medical School then residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center and has focused her career on assessing and trying to meet the needs of underserved communities. She serves as the medical director of the Medications Addiction Treatment Inpatient Consult service and clinic at HUCLA. Teaching future physicians the critical skills necessary to assess and treat substance use disorders has become a primary goal with the medical students and residents she teaches. Her goal remains to create national initiatives in medical training and public policy that meet the needs of vulnerable patient’s suffering from substance use disorders.

As a former MERF Champion she remains inspired and committed to helping the next generation of MERF participants provide evidenced based, compassionate care for those that use along with systemic change for all healthcare providers.


Douglas B. McMullin, MD, FASAM
Dr. McMullin is a family physician and addiction medicine specialist on the faculty of Shasta Community Health Center Family Medicine Residency in Redding, California. He attended Brigham Young University, followed by Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University of Medical Science. After three years in the Navy, he and his wife, Sheri, settled in Redding to raise their six children. He is active in church activities and the Boy Scouts, yet still has time left to hike with his goats!

As faculty for Shasta CHC and MERF MATE graduate, Dr. McMullin has a passion for preparing full spectrum family physicians to serve in medically underserved areas, particularly in the surrounding rural communities. He has a special focus on behavioral health in the context of chronic disease management and on the integration of services for patients and families with substance use disorders. He brings his expertise and passion to his role on the MERF Board of Directors.

Immediate Past President

Kenneth Saffier, MD, FASAM
Dr. Saffier is a family physician specializing in addiction medicine and chronic pain management in the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers where he is faculty in their UCSF affiliated family medicine residency program. He is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He is also the medical director of Bi-Bett, Inc., a SUD treatment and recovery program and mentor in the Provider Clinical Support Services.

Dr. Saffier has been a Member of Motivational Interviewing (MI) Network of Trainers since 2012 and has provided over 50 MI training sessions including workshops at national conferences including the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the California Society of Addiction Annual conferences.

Board Members

Steven J. Eickelberg, MD, DFASAM, FAPA
Dr. Eickelberg, an addiction psychiatrist, is a graduate of Oregon Health & Science University and received training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Dr. Eickelberg is a diplomate of both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and he is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Eickelberg served as President of MERF for over 18 years and led the development of the Scholars program from the early years of providing scholarships to residents to attend the CSAM Annual Conference to the vision he promoted for broader engagement and mentorship of residents as well as faculty. Together with Dr. Ken Saffier and Dr. Julie Nyquist, the MERF Scholars and MERF Champions projects were implemented and expanded.

Over the past 30 years, he has worked in a wide variety of clinical and educational settings, including Kaiser Permanente, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, consultant to Major League Baseball, consultant to the FAA, providing assessments and monitoring for the FAA and aviation professionals, Medical Director of the Betty Ford Center, and he was co-director of two addiction medicine fellowship programs (Loma Linda University School of Medicine-Kaiser Permanente combined program and the Betty Ford Center). Dr. Eickelberg has served on the Executive Council of the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) since 1995, the MERF Board of Directors since 1999, and has been the President of MERF since 2002. In 2014 CSAM presented Dr. Eickelberg with the Vernelle Fox Award.

Lynda Gayden, BA
Ms. Gayden is Executive Director of Biotech Partners, leading their team since 2014, bringing over 30 years of experience in executive leadership, financial management, organization development, strategic planning, program development and evaluation and development. Ms. Gayden has launched non-profits, developed and secured funding to pilot programs and directed services for children, youth and families that became best-practice and/or evidence-based model programs. Ms. Gayden taught elementary education for several years.

Biotech Partners’ vision is to create impact and opportunities for students to spark curiosity and passion in the field of STEM that will encourage them to pursue continued education and further career development and advancement. Their programs show students that it is possible to step outside their boundaries, dream big, and achieve the impossible. Ms. Gayden brings that same vision and enthusiasm to her role on the MERF Board of Directors

Greg Greenberg, MD
Since finishing his family medicine residency in 2004, Greg Greenberg has worked as a family physician with medically underserved populations, in emergency medicine, as a hospitalist, and as an addiction medicine physician. As a board certified addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Greenberg is medical director of a tribal owned opioid treatment (OTP) in Ukiah, CA and is Chief Medical Officer for a group that will manage tribally owned OTPs that will be opening in San Diego, Tacoma, and Riverside County. This plays into his favorite hobby which is general aviation.

Julie G. Nyquist, PhD
Dr. Nyquist is a Professor in the Division of Medical Education at the University of Southern California. She joined the faculty in 1981, directs the Master of Academic Medicine, and has specialized expertise in evaluation and faculty development. Dr. Nyquist has given over 250 workshops, nationally and internationally, to faculty members from a variety of health professions. From 1993 to 2001 she also served as the Director of Medical Education at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California, where she provided oversight for all educational activities (undergraduate, graduate, CME, and faculty development) within the Medical Center. Professor Nyquist received her doctorate in Educational Psychology at Michigan State University in 1981.

Dr. Nyquist brings her expertise and enthusiasm for teaching and learning into her roles with the MERF Board of Directors over 20+ years, guiding the development of the MERF Scholars program, MERF Champions project and subsequent MERF MATES program in recent years.

Andrew Smith, PhD
Dr. Andrew Smith is a behavioral health psychologist who provides consultation and training to medical organizations. He also provides psychotherapy and coaching for physicians and affiliated healthcare providers. Prior to this he served for 13 years as behavioral science core faculty in the Family Medicine Residency Program at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp. His focus areas as faculty were teaching motivational interviewing skills, training physicians in the psychosocial aspects of addiction treatment, and helping to ignite a passion for addiction medicine within the residency. Dr. Smith has served as a MERF Facilitator for many years and has recruited several residents to attend the CSAM conference as MERF Scholars, and he is proud that a number of these residents have gone onto careers in addiction medicine.

Farah Zaidi, MD
Dr. Farah Zaidi is a Community Psychiatrist, Addiction Medicine physician and member of core teaching faculty for San Mateo County psychiatry residency program. She is Board Certified in Adult psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. She completed psychiatry residency training from San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency Training program and completed public psychiatry fellowship from Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital/UCSF. Dr. Zaidi is passionate about helping patients with substance use disorder, easy access to care, advocating for parity and social justice, and educating medical students and residents. She is an active member of SUD treatment group at her home institution where she collaborates with her colleagues and other Addiction Medicine enthusiasts in advocating for expansion of access to medications for OUD. In addition, she has given educational talks on substance related impairment in healthcare providers. Dr. Zaidi is a former MERF Scholar and she believes that MERF experience during her residency paved pathway for her work in Addiction and advocacy for patients with SUD.

Founding Member

Garrett O’Connor, MD 
Dr. Connor was an internationally renowned psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician. He was Medical Director of Beit T’shuvah Residential Treatment Center. He served as the Chief Psychiatrist at the Betty Ford Center, prior to becoming the President of the Betty Ford Institute. He is remembered for combining scientific rigor and passion with honesty, wit, tenderness, and humor. Dr. O’Connor had a strong commitment to medical education about addiction and gave everything he could to help those suffering from the disease of addiction, including by sharing his own personal struggles with the disease. And he consistently argued that as we come to a better understanding of the biological roots of addiction, we need to not lose sight of psychological and social factors and the importance of spirituality in recovery.