Get to Know Romas Buivydas, Ph.D, Our Vice President of Clinical Development and Host of Airing Addiction

Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center provide preeminent evidence-based addiction treatment throughout Massachusetts. The quality of our services is a true testament to Spectrum’s dedicated and experienced staff, including a talented team of leaders, clinicians, social workers, admissions counselors and beyond who contribute to our superior continuum of care, day in and day out.

That includes our Vice President of Clinical Development, Dr. Romas Buivydas. A licensed mental health counselor with a Ph.D. and a quarter century of experience in behavioral health care, he is responsible for providing training and consultation in the latest clinical methods and instructional techniques to program staff throughout the organization.

We thought it was important for our clients and potential future clients to get to know him a bit better, so we sat down for a quick Q&A.

Your background is impressive. Can you tell us more about it?

I’ve worked in the behavioral health care field for 25 years in both clinical and administrational roles. My focus has always been on substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders and co-occurring disorders.

I have been with Spectrum Health Systems for over a decade now, but my experience doesn’t begin and end in the United States. In the 90s, I spent some time in Lithuania – my homeland. I spoke to universities and agencies about substance use disorders and treatment options. I also worked with the country’s newly independent government as an advisor regarding Western psychology and thought. I continue to go back every few years.

How did you come to work in the addictions field?

Initially, I was a pre-med major and got interested in the field after taking some psychology courses. When I got my start, I worked in the psychiatry field for more than a decade. I was Director of Psychiatric and Addiction Evaluations at UMass where I worked on diagnostics and helped people access inpatient and outpatient levels of care depending on their needs.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part for me is looking at ways to make treatment more effective for people and teaching clinicians about new techniques and practices. Recently, we’ve begun offering consulting and training services to other agencies, communities and organizations on substance use disorders and everything related. We call this new service offering: Spectrum Education, Training and Consulting.

With the current opioid epidemic, the idea is to help organizations and communities learn about substance use disorders and develop strategies for addressing these issues.

As the new host of Airing Addiction, how do you hope to make an impact with listeners?

Much like the show’s former host Jodi Tarantino, I hope to continue educating folks about addiction treatment, inspire individuals to reclaim their lives by seeking treatment and equip people with information and resources so they can help those who are struggling.

When you’re not helping rid the world of addiction, what do you like to do?

In my spare time, I am a keeper of both bees and chickens! I love spending time with animals and in nature.

To learn more about the services offered by Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center, tune into Airing Addiction – live on Facebook and subsequently uploaded to SoundCloud and iTunes. The next episode will air on Thursday, April 26 at 1pm ET on the Airing Addiction Facebook page and features Dan Ripley. Dan is a person in recovery who, since completing treatment, now manages a sober home and works as a Peer Coordinator at Spectrum Health Systems’ Everyday Miracles peer recovery support program in Worcester, Mass.

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