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Yale’s Dr. D’Onofrio first woman to win prestigious SAEM research award

February 28, 2013

Dr. Gail D’Onofrio has just been awarded the 2013 SAEM Excellence in Research Award by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. The honor is given to investigators who do it all: ground-breaking research; have significant impact in the field; train future researchers; and prolifically publish.

Dr. D’Onofrio fits the bill. In their official award letter, SAEM said they “were very impressed with all of [her] achievements to date and [her] potential for continuing to contribute to SAEM and emergency medicine in the future.” Not to mention, she is the first woman to receive the award in a traditionally male-dominated field and a prominent member of the small group of senior women research faculty in the nation.

D’Onofrio has dedicated two decades of research to perfecting interventions for Emergency Department (ED) patients who misuse drugs and alcohol, and her dedication has been met with incredible success. In fact, she was one of the first Emergency Medicine physicians to receive federal funding in this area. Her research has led to effective, empirically tested techniques like the Brief Negotiation Interview (BNI) and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) that inform intervention models across the nation.

Not only is D’Onofrio a productive researcher, but she is also an enthusiastic mentor. She regularly advises up-and-coming researchers at Yale and other institutions. In a larger effort, she is the primary mentor on a sizable training grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to train residents in her techniques and ensure the future of effective drug and alcohol intervention in the ED.

D’Onofrio is also a senior investigator on a large scale National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (NHLBI) funded grant studying young women with myocardial infarctions at over 100 sites; a study that examines the role of gender differences on outcomes of acute myocardial infarction in young patients.

In her spare time, D’Onofrio regularly contributes to grant review, expert, and consensus panels; has produced over 100 publications as a result of her work; and serves as Physician-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Emergency Department. She’s also a founding member of the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

The award will be officially presented to D’Onofrio at the SAEM Annual Meeting in Atlanta this May. 

Submitted by Simone Schneegans on February 28, 2013