Alister Martin is a practicing emergency physician and former Chief Resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is the Founder of Get Waivered, a campaign aimed at transforming emergency rooms nationwide into the front door for recovery treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction. This work now serves as a national model at the NIH with several state partnerships including Get Waivered Texas and Get Waivered Nebraska. His work has been written about in the Boston Globe, NPR, and the AAMC.
A former high school dropout who later went on to obtain his GED and acceptance to Rutgers as a collegiate-athlete, Alister knows firsthand how razor thin the margin of error is in communities of color. In his first year at Harvard Medical School in 2010, he founded weDREAM, a student mentorship program in community centers and high schools throughout neighboring Roxbury and the greater Boston area. It's goal was to provide access to positive role models to students of color in these communities and build community through empowerment.
As a first year Harvard Kennedy School student and a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership in 2013, he was selected as a Dukakis Fellow which allows selected students to work directly under a U.S. Governor. Given Vermont's ongoing transition to a single-payer system at the time with the passage of Act 48 in 2011, he accepted a position working as a Health-Care Policy Aide to Governor Peter Shumlin. Over the subsequent year, he directed a team in the Governor's office responsible for building the communication plan for Vermont's proposed single payer plan called Green Mountain Care.
He now serves as faculty at Harvard Medical School in the Center for Social Justice and Health Equity working at the intersection of public policy and medicine. He leverages his background in politics, healthcare policy, and the field of behavioral economics to use the ER as a place to build programs that serve the needs of vulnerable patients that frequent it. He directly oversees programs that: transition homeless patients into permanent supportive housing, get patients struggling with addiction on the road to recovery, and offer patients who are unregistered voters the opportunity to register to vote while they wait in the ER. When he's not seeing patients in the ER you'll find him on the court or back home in the Jersey community he grew up in.