Quit Genius Hires Addiction Expert Suzette Glasner as VP Clinical Affairs, to Lead Research on Impact of Digital Clinics for Addiction

Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2021Quit Genius, the world’s first digital clinic for treating multiple addictions, announced today that industry veteran and addiction expert Suzette Glasner, Ph.D. has joined the company in the newly created role of Vice President, Clinical Affairs. Dr. Glasner is responsible for building on the existing evidence base validating the long-term efficacy of the Quit Genius program, and leading new research further establishing the company’s position as the most effective digital clinic for addictions.

Built on the evidence-based practice of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Quit Genius combines virtual behavioral therapy with approved medication and connected devices to help employers tackle the high cost of addiction in the workplace while improving the lives of their employees. To-date, Quit Genius has helped more than 60,000 people quit their addictions. The company integrates with health plans, pharmacy benefit managers and wellness platforms to deliver a turnkey implementation experience.

Addictions have worsened during COVID-19.  Online alcohol sales jumped 243% according to Nielsen and cigarette smoking is making a comeback. Drug overdoses are increasing as people are feeling stressed and isolated and their treatment programs have been disrupted. COVID caused delays and reduced access to programs people use to maintain sobriety.  There’s also been a disruption in routines and increased social isolation.

“It’s the right time for digital clinics for addictions,” said Yusuf Sherwani, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Quit Genius. “Employers and health plans are clamoring for new approaches to this problem, and Quit Genius delivers. Our business doubled in 2020, and 2021 growth will likely be higher.”

The quit rate for participants in the Quit Genius tobacco and vaping program is over 50 percent – about 5x higher than traditional programs – and while the research is ongoing, Dr. Sherwani believes the quit rates for the company’s new alcohol and opioid programs will also be much higher than average.

Dr. Glasner is an Associate Professor at UCLA, in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and scientist whose research focuses on developing and testing digital behavioral treatments for addictions and related psychiatric and medical conditions, and understanding the key ingredients of psychotherapy, or how psychotherapy helps people to change their behavior. Three evidence-based treatment approaches that have been the focus of her research studies are: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and mindfulness-based treatments. Dr. Glasner’s award-winning book, The Addiction Recovery Skills Workbook, integrates her scientific knowledge about the causes and most effective treatments for addictions, and more than a decade of clinical experience treating individuals and families who are affected by addictions and mental health difficulties.

“Alcohol and drug addiction – which has been greatly exacerbated by COVID-19 – remains one of the greatest concerns of the healthcare system and a top driver of healthcare costs,” said Dr. Glasner. “Quit Genius combines the very evidence-based approaches that have been the focus of my clinical research. At this critical time, with isolation taking its toll on those who are trying to recover from addictions, the use of digital health care is needed more than ever to broaden access to addiction treatment. I’m convinced that this is the way forward for treating addictions, and very excited to help architect new research into the effectiveness of the Quit Genius program, including new approaches to alcohol and opioid addictions launching in 2021. This is an opportunity to make a real impact on people who suffer from addiction when they need it the most.”

“Suzette has a unique blend of experience in substance addiction, research and digital healthcare,” said Dr. Sherwani, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Quit Genius. “She is a world-leading expert in the field of substance addiction and brings more than a decade of experience to the Quit Genius clinical team. We’re excited to have her join the team and guide our clinical affairs efforts in the years to come.”

About Pelago

Pelago, formerly Quit Genius, partners with enterprises as the leading virtual clinic for substance use management among their employees. We are transforming substance use support—from prevention to treatment—delivering education, management skills, and opportunities for positive change to members struggling with substance use, most commonly tobacco, alcohol, or opioids. Our solution gives employers the means to offer on-demand, personalized support to workers seeking to live healthier lives. Pelago’s cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs deliver convenient, accessible, and effective support that seamlessly integrates with health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and wellness platforms. To date, Pelago has helped more than 750,000 members manage their substance use and improve their lives.

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