Veterans Day and Addiction Medicine

ACAAM honors veterans and addiction medicine specialists who served their country this Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, we honor our veterans and share our profound gratitude for their sacrifices. We also thank the addiction medicine specialists who tirelessly treat veterans with substance use disorders and lead them into recovery. This year, we'd like to highlight two addiction medicine specialists who not only treat veterans, but were veterans themselves. 

 Veterans Day Spotlight: William F. Haning, III, M.D., DFASAM, DLFAPA (“Bill”)

American College of Academic Addiction Medicine (ACAAM) member and Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i, William (Bill) F. Haning, III, M.D., DFASAM, DLFAPA, is also a highly accoladed veteran. As the Force Surgeon for both U.S. Marine Forces Pacific and Marine Forces Central Command, Haning served in Operation Iraqi Freedom subsequently as Division Psychiatrist, 4th Marine Division, earning a Legion of Merit award, among countless honors throughout his career. 

Bill Haning 1

Having served as the Director of M.D. Programs for the medical school until retirement in 2017, Dr. Haning remains Director of the University of Hawaii Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program, as well as the Addiction Psychiatry program, He also is Principal Investigator for the Pacific Addiction Research Center (PARC) and sits on the governing board of the Pacific Health, Research & Education Institute (PHREI), the research arm of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System. 

Currently, both of Hawai`i’s addiction fellowships, Addiction Medicine & Addiction Psychiatry (ADM & ADP), and the General Psychiatry Residency program of the University of Hawai`i include training with the regional VA clinical arm. They have up to two positions each in ADM & ADP. 

Dr. Haning said:
 “My encouragement to trainees to seek military or VA training venues proceeds both from the excellence of supervision and program operations, and from one unique feature of serving with either:  you need never bankrupt your patients or divert their kids’ college funds in order to provide medication, hospitalization, procedures, or imaging. The ability to focus on what are your patients’ needs is a fact in which both trainees and faculty can luxuriate.”

Dr. Haning is certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine. His teaching awards include the APA’s Nancy C.A. Roeske Certificate, the John M. Hardman Award for Mentorship from the John A. Burns School of Medicine of the University of Hawai`i, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, and the University of Hawai`i Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

His list of impressive honors continues, when in 2014, the Hawai`i Medical Association designated him Hawai`i’s Physician of the Year.  In 2018, he received the Hon. James S. Burns Award for Community Service. In 2019, he received the ASAM Annual Award for contributions to the field of addiction medicine.  In 2021 he was given Punahou School’s Charles S. Judd, Jr., M.D.  award for humanitarian service. 

Bill Haning 2

Dr. Haning is the current (2021 – 2023) Presidentof the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), and he is also the immediate past Chair of the Examination Committee, Addiction Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).  He is a Member of the American College of Psychiatrists, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  In 2021, upon the consent of the State Senate, he was appointed Regent of the University of Hawai`i system by Governor David Ige.

Dr. Haning received his A.B. (Philosophy) from Princeton University and M.D. from the John A. Burns School of Medicine of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa.  He quips that he spends much time trying to defeat age through exercise, which he says only wears him out; and an equal interval trying to understand humanity by reading history, which he says only raises more questions.  He lives in Manoa Valley in Honolulu and is the “undeserving” spouse of Dr. Libby Char, Hawai`i State Director of Health and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery (Emergency Medicine).

 Veterans Day Spotlight: Kevin B. Kunz, MD., MPH, FASAM

(Excerpted from:

A driving force in addiction medicine and the growth of ACAAM, Dr. Kunz is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served a tour of duty in Vietnam. After being stationed in Hawaiʻi in 1969, he attended night classes at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He stayed on after completing his service, and met his future wife, Kathleen Mishina, when they were students together.

Dr. Kunz attended The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), where he completed the combined MD/MPH program offered by JABSOM and the University of Hawaiʻi School of Public Health. He graduated in 1979 and completed a clinical internship at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone and a Preventive Medicine residency at the University of Hawaiʻi, working in the Hansen’s Disease Branch of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health as a clinician and researcher.

In 1981, Dr. Kunz began working in a primary care medical group in Kona and became involved in community health development. He helped found Kona Kohala Health Care Services, the Kona Adult Day Center, the Bridge House (addiction treatment program), Kona Addictions Services, and the West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center, which is Kona and West Hawaiʻi’s Federally Qualified Health Center. He has served on the boards of The Queen’s Medical Center, West Hawaiʻi Regional Health Care System and the West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center. He joined the medical staff of Kona Community Hospital in 1983. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at JABSOM.

It was in the mid-1990s that Dr. Kunz became active in Addiction Medicine, both in providing inpatient and outpatient treatment and in professional activities within the state. “I came to realize how prevalent and devastating addictive disorders were for my patients.”

Dr. Kunz continues, “I decided to focus on caring for them and to bringing the prevention and care of unhealthy substance use into broader recognition in Kona and Hawaiʻi, and into the ‘house’ of mainstream medicine.”

 Kevin Kunz

On the professional level, he joined the Hawaiʻi Society of Addiction Medicine and served as President. He was soon elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), and, among other positions, he co-chaired the Medical Specialty Action Group, which led to the formation of ACAAM’s predecessor organization, the American Board of Addiction Medicine Foundation.

He served as first President of the ABAM Foundation and then became Executive Vice President until 2021, when Bruce Hammond became Executive Director of what by then had become ACAAM. Dr. Kunz led the organization through the growth in the number of certified Addiction Medicine physicians, the development of a national training infrastructure of Addiction Medicine fellowships, and the formal recognition of Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Dr. Kunz continues to practice addiction medicine in Kona, Hawaii, and is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine.


Thank you to all who have served. 

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