ACAAM Award Winners

Keeper of the Flame Award

Established in 2018, the Keeper of the Flame Award acknowledges exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to evidence-based addiction medicine and its clinical application.

This award is given to those who through their work exemplify the advance of evidence-based science and its translation to clinical practice in the field of addiction medicine. Effective prevention and treatment of substance use disorders has long been delayed due to ignorance, stigma, competing health care and commercial influences, and the lack of sufficient physician involvement.

The significance of the flaming torch, also incorporated into ACAAM’s symbol, is the light of science and expert clinical practices. The person receiving this award embodies one who works towards advancing these practices.

2023 Keeper of the Flame Award Recipient

June S. Sivilli, MA


June Sivilli serves as a Sr. Public Health Advisor in the Office of Public Health, Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President.

Ms. Sivilli has had an extensive public health policy career in multiple leadership and technical roles at ONDCP including Assistant Director for Public Health, Education and Treatment, Public Health Division Chief, Treatment Branch Chief and International Advisor for Demand Reduction, developing and advancing the agencies public health policies and priorities to improve services for people with substance use disorders, both domestically and internationally. She led the agencies initiatives to integrate screening and treatment into mainstream health, the expansion of the use of medication for opioid use disorder including in criminal justice settings, and the establishment of Addiction Medicine as a medical sub-specialty. She drafted the first National Treatment Plan, and led its implementation across Federal Agencies and with national non-profit stakeholders.

June is currently leading efforts across government and the medical field to increase screening and case-finding to bring more people who need treatment into care, addiction workforce development and expansion, and continues efforts to increase MOUD for justice involved populations.

Prior to joining ONDCP, Ms. Sivilli conducted research in the private sector. Her training is in Sociology from George Washington University (MA), and Stony Brook University (BA).

Previous Keeper of the Flame Award Recipients

George F. Koob, PhD, Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Nora D. Volkow, MD, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 

Martha J. Wunsch, MD 

The Kevin B. Kunz Award

The Kevin B. Kunz Award was created to honor Dr. Kunz for his outstanding achievements in academic addiction medicine. This award will be given annually to an ACAAM member who has made significant contributions to academic addiction medicine through either medical education, clinical care, research, or policy. 

2023 Inaugural Kevin B. Kunz Award Recipient

Kevin B. Kunz, MD MPH DFASAM


Dr. Kunz is a native of Washington DC. After high school he served in the Marine Corps and settled in Hawaii upon returning from Vietnam. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and of the John Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu. He completed a flexible internship at Gorgas Hospital in the Canal Zone and a preventive medicine residency at the University of Hawaii. During and after residency he worked in the Hansen’s Disease Branch of the state’s Department of Health, serving statewide in Hansen’s Disease clinics and at Kalaupapa, Molokai.

Dr. Kunz joined Kona Medical Associates, a small primary care clinic serving Kealakekua and Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii. He worked in outpatient and hospital settings and became active in community health development.  Dr. Kunz led the coalitions that established the region’s first adult daycare center as well as the island’s first indigent care clinic, initially staffed by volunteers. The indigent care clinic received community support and grew to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), now the Hawaii Island Community Health Center (HICHC). Recently, other community clinics merged into this entity, and it is now the largest FQHC in the state. The Center serves rural, ethnically diverse, underserved patients with substantial health disparities from a 180,000 person catchment area at 14 clinic sites.

The passion in Dr. Kunz’s career has been the care of patients and families with addictive disorders. He came to realize that addiction medicine is a practice built on three pillars: the relationship between physician and patient; the application of a rigorous evidence base; and the availability of a trained physician workforce, practicing within interdisciplinary teams. Eventually he came to believe that only a structural change in medical education and medicine could bring these goals to fruition.

By 1994, Dr. Kunz was attending a large population of patients with substance use disorder (SUD). He gained certification in addiction medicine, established an accredited outpatient treatment program, an interdisciplinary hospital addiction medicine service and became active in local, state and national SUD prevention and treatment activities. He served in multiple local and state leadership positions, and as a Director of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). In 2005 he co-chaired ASAM’s Medical Specialty Action Group, which led to establishment of the independent American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and The American College of Academic Addiction Medicine (ACAAM).

Dr. Kunz served as President of these organizations from 2008-2010 and as Executive Vice President from 2013 to 2020. Under his executive leadership ABAM certified over 4,000 physicians in addiction medicine, and ACAAM assisted in establishing and accrediting the first 52 addiction medicine fellowship program in the US, as well as three in Canada. The vision and work of ABAM and ACAAM, resultant from the efforts of their directors, staff, and volunteers, was realized in 2016 when the American Board of Medical Specialties recognized addiction medicine as a multi-specialty subspecialty and in March, 2018 when the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education began accepting accreditation applications from current and emerging addiction medicine fellowships. 

The recognition and inclusion of addiction medicine by these national, standard setting organizations will allow the prevention and treatment of SUD to enter mainstream American medicine and health care, equal to the recognition and support received for other medical disorders. The current work of ACAAM is aimed at supporting current addiction medicine fellowships, expanding to 125 fellowships nationwide and advancing organization of a community of academic addiction medicine professionals.

From 2013 to 2020 Dr. Kunz was the principle investigator on $4M of funding directed at supporting addiction medicine fellowships and in expanding training in SUD prevention and early intervention. He has served as a section editor of Principles of Addiction Medicine (PAM), and authored or co-authored journal articles and several book chapters, including The Addiction Medicine Physician as a Change Agent for Prevention and Public Health in the current edition of APM.

Dr. Kunz has received several awards and recognitions, including a national Frontiersman of the Year Award from the Salvation Army, the Hawaii Governor’s Kilohana Award for Volunteerism, the Hawaii Medical Association’s Clinician of the Year Award, the Outstanding Service Award from the Hawaii Island Rural Health Association, the Annual ASAM Award, and the AMERSA John P. McGovern Award.

Dr. Kunz retired from clinical practice at HICHC and lives in Volcano on the Island of Hawaii with his wife Kathleen Mishina. They and their three adult children continue to enjoy hiking and camping from the mountains to the ocean, from the windward to the leeward side.

The ACAAM Awards Committee will open a Call for Award Nominations later in the year for 2024 nominations. We encourage our members who are qualified to submit a nomination or apply.

See both of these awards presented at the 2023 ACAAM Annual Meeting