Andrew Kolodny, M.D., Phoenix House’s chief medical officer, started his career with a keen interest in public health and a passion for helping those who are suffering from addiction.
Prior to joining Phoenix House, Andrew served as Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. In that role, he provided clinical and administrative oversight of psychiatric services and a residency-training program for one of the largest community teaching hospitals in the country. During his tenure, Andrew demonstrated a hands-on approach to improving quality of care, integrating health and mental health services, and developing new services and programs to meet changing community needs.
Andrew received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine. After completing his residency in psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he pursued his interest in public health with a public psychiatry fellowship at Columbia University and a Congressional Health Policy fellowship in the United States Senate.
Andrew then worked as Medical Director for Special Projects in the Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Tasked with decreasing overdose deaths, Andrew helped expand access to opioid addiction treatment. He also developed and implemented citywide programs to improve New Yorkers’ health and save lives, including naloxone overdose prevention programs and emergency room-based screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs for drug and alcohol misuse.
When Andrew began a clinical practice, he encountered the type of patient who has become the new face of the worst drug crisis in U.S. history—young adults from suburbs who were addicted to prescription opioids. Andrew realized a new drug epidemic was emerging. People were dying in greater numbers every day, and no one seemed to be paying attention.
To combat this crisis, Andrew co-founded Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, now a program of Phoenix House. Through his advocacy, he met and worked with people who have lost loved ones to prescription opioids—people he considers heroes because they have the courage to speak out despite stigma and work to make something meaningful come from their loss. Their advocacy with FDA led the rescheduling of hydrocodone products such as Vicodin, correcting a mistake in federal law that had led to inappropriate availability and hundreds of thousands of cases of addiction.