DR. JAMES THOMPSON
C.E.O. and Addiction Medicine Physician
James E. Thompson received his M.D. from VCU School of Medicine in 2004 and completed his post-graduate training at MCV Hospitals. He joined the American Society for Addiction Medicine in 2007 while still a resident in internal medicine. He has been practicing in the field of addiction since completing his training at MCV in 2009 and has since distinguished himself in a remarkable range of treatment settings as a compassionate, innovative leader in the movement to make treatment more effective and accessible. He was awarded diplomate status by the American Board of Addiction Medicine in 2013 and was recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) the following year. He is actively involved in the national and Virginia branches of ASAM as well as the Medical Society of Virginia and the American College of Physicians.
In the years prior to launching VCAM he worked as the interim medical director and staff physician at Rubicon, Inc., medical director at Williamsville Wellness, staff physician and associate medical director at the Farley Center at Williamsburg Place and spent many years running a groundbreaking, outpatient addiction clinic associated with a prominent Recovery Community Organization. During that time, Dr. Thompson was instrumental in making naloxone (Narcan) widely available in Virginia without prescription, played a major role in the film “Heroin, the Hardest Hit” and has served on the boards of multiple non-profit treatment/recovery organizations. Dr. Thompson was awarded ‘Top Doc’ in Addiction Medicine by Richmond Magazine in 2017 and now for a second time in 2018. He currently serves as an advisor to public and private organizations concerning our current addiction crisis and has recently addressed the American Academy of Family Practitioners, Virginia Society for Healthcare Risk Management, the Virginia Society for Addiction Medicine, and the Medical Society of Virginia.
DR. SHERMAN MASTER
Sherman Master is widely renowned in the field of Addiction Psychiatry and has been a pioneer in the field in Richmond, VA area for three decades. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Virginia in 1957 and received his M.D. from Medical College of Virginia in 1961. He served an internship at Emory University followed by a Residency in Psychiatry at MCV, interrupted by two years of service as a medical officer in the US Army at Fort Leavenworth.
During his distinguished career Dr. Master has served on the clinical and residency training faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at MCV. He has been recognized and awarded as an outstanding clinician and educator many times over. He has been the Chairman of Psychiatry at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, the Medical Director for St. John’s Hospital and Tucker’s Pavilion at CJW Hospital. He was the first director of what is now the Virginia Health Practitioner’s Monitoring Program, the state program that assists and monitors physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists with substance abuse and mental health conditions. He is sought after as a speaker and lecturer regionally and nationally.
Needless to say, Dr. Master has been a leader, a teacher, a mentor and inspiration to so many Richmond physicians and allied health care professionals in psychiatry and addiction medicine that his importance and influence are difficult to overstate. We are incredibly fortunate and thankful to have the opportunity to work with him and we’re honored to have a place in his professional biography. He is a member of the Medical Society of Virginia, Psychiatric Society of Virginia and the Richmond Psychiatric Society.
DR. KIRA BLEECHER
Addiction Medicine Physician and Psychiatrist
Kira Bleecher received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 and her medical degree from VCU School of Medicine (MCV) in 2005. She spent several years doing research in the field of addiction before eventually starting her residency in psychiatry at the University of Connecticut, with the primary goal of helping people with both substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness. She went on to do a fellowship in Addiction Medicine at Rushford, which is affiliated with Hartford Hospital. After completing her fellowship in CT she moved back to her hometown of Richmond, VA to start working at VCAM. She is board certified in psychiatry and board eligible in addiction medicine. She is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and looks forward being active in the Virginia Chapter of ASAM.
Dr. Bleecher was raised bilingual and speaks German fluently. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her son, hiking, and reading historical fiction novels.
DR. SCOTT WIESE
Addiction Medicine Physician
Scott Wiese earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary in 2001 and his M.D. from the VCU School of Medicine in 2009. Upon completion of a surgical internship at the University of Virginia Health System, he finished his residency training in anesthesiology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.
Dr. Wiese returned to the Richmond area in 2013 and worked as a board-certified anesthesiologist for 4 years before transitioning to pursue his interest in addiction medicine full-time at VCAM. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Richmond Academy of Medicine. Dr. Wiese lives in Midlothian, VA, with his wife and their 2 children. He enjoys good food, running, CrossFit, and coaching youth baseball.
DONNA BROWN, NP-C
Donna Marie Brown is a Family Nurse Practitioner who received her undergraduate degree in Nursing from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas and her graduate degree from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau, Eta Omicron Chapter, and a Gold Key Scholar. She spent over 15 years working for the U.S. Army in Deployment Medicine, Family Practice, Traumatic Brain Injury, and General Surgery.
In 2015, after traveling with her husband, a 20-year U.S. Army veteran, she returned to the Richmond area where she began her career in addiction medicine. She joined VCAM in May 2018. Mrs. Brown lives in Chester, VA with her husband and two of her three children. She enjoys theatre, acting, writing, and interior design.
FRANK WATKINS, JR. MS LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Frank Watkins has been working in the field of Substance Use Disorder treatment for nearly twelve years in a wide variety of facilities, beginning with the establishment of a Peer Recovery Support Program- The SAARA Center for Recovery-under a Federal Grant from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. He then went to The Family Counseling Center for Recovery, working primarily with Methadone patients and overseeing an Intensive Outpatient Program for nearly seven years. In 2015, he was instrumental in Richmond Behavioral Health Authority’s purchase and reorganization of an inpatient facility formerly known as Rubicon. He has worked as a therapist at The Farley Center in Williamsburg, Virginia, in a long-term residential SUD treatment program specializing in medical professionals, lawyers and military personnel.
He came to The Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine in January of 2018 as The Director of Clinical Services. Here, his focus is on establishing a program of group therapy for a variety of patients as well as providing individual therapeutic services.
He has a BA in English Literature from Hampden-Sydney College and a MS in Rehabilitative Counseling from VCU. He is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Virginia
He identifies himself as a person in long term recovery.