Cambridge Health Alliance Readiness for Gambling Expansion (CHARGE) is an initiative designed to advance healthy communities across Massachusetts and beyond through provider training, outreach activities, and research related to gambling disorder, addiction, and other related mental health conditions.


2021 CHARGE activities include:

  • Ms. Kira Landauer and Ms. Jennifer Scarborough presented about Gambling Disorder Screening Day during the National Council on Problem Gambling Webinar “Getting Ready for Problem Gambling Awareness Month” on January 19th

CHARGE’s Eighth Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s eighth Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 9, 2021 includes supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.


To learn more about CHARGE’s accomplishments, we invite you to navigate using the buttons above or click explore CHARGE’s annual updates below:

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2020

2020 CHARGE activities include:

  • Drs. Debi LaPlante and Heather Gray were sworn in as members of the State of New Hampshire Council on Responsible Gambling on January 22nd
  • Dr. Debi LaPlante gave grand rounds, “Gambling in Your Practice: Information & Resources for Addressing Gambling Harm” at Cambridge Health Alliance on February 19th
  • Dr. Heather Gray presented on the Syndrome Model of Addiction to psychiatry fellows at the Causeway (Boston) VA Outpatient Center on February 24th
  • Ms. Kira Landauer and Ms. Vanessa Graham presented the Gambling Disorder Screening Day Toolkit during the National Council on Problem Gambling Webinar “Problem Gambling Awareness Month – Get Ready for #AwarenessPlusAction” in February
  • The Division on Addiction hosted Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 10th
  • Dr. Heather Gray spoke about gambling with members of the Salem, MA chapter of Learn to Cope in March
  • The BASIS highlighted Gambling Disorder Screening Day during our March Special Series on Community Approaches to Addiction
  • Dr. Sarah Nelson was part of a webinar panel on self-exclusion in collaboration with the International Center for Responsible Gaming and International Association of Gaming Advisors on April 8th
  • Dr. Heather Gray and Ms. Kira Landauer provided an educational session about gambling and gambling-related harm to members of the St. Francis House Recovery Support Center in April
  • Dr. Sarah Nelson presented “Patterns of Daily Fantasy Sports Play: Implications for the Emerging US Sports Betting Market” at a webinar hosted by the International Center for Responsible Gaming on June 18th
  • Dr. Eric Louderback was a speaker in “Replicability, Open Science, and Independence in Gambling Research” – part of the Technology, Risk and Gambling Seminar Series hosted by the Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney – on July 8th
  • Dr. Heather Gray was a speaker in “Responsible Gambling II: Gambling Education Programs” – part of the Technology, Risk and Gambling Seminar Series hosted by the Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney – on July 22nd
  • Drs. Debi LaPlante and Heather Gray conducted an online training “Responsible Gambling” with Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline staffers on September 25th
  • Ms. Kira Landauer conducted an online training “Treatment for Problem Gambling & Gambling Disorder” with Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline staffers on October 9th

CHARGE’s Seventh Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s seventh Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 10, 2020 included supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2019

2019 CHARGE activities include:

  • Dr. Sarah Nelson presented the Division’s evaluation of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program to the Public Health Trust Fund on January 23rd
  • Dr. Sarah E. Nelson presented the Division’s Massachusetts Gambling Treatment Services Gap Analysis: Part 1 – State of the Services to the Public Health Trust Fund on January 23rd
  • Dr. Heather M. Gray presented the Division’s Massachusetts Gambling Treatment Services Gap Analysis: Part 2 – Assessing Need to the Public Health Trust Fund on January 23rd
  • Vanessa H. Graham presented the Gambling Disorder Screening Day Toolkit during the National Council on Problem Gambling webinar on February 19th
  • Dr. Heather Gray presented The Unitary Addiction Hypothesis to the clinical staff at the VA Boston Community Based Outpatient Clinic on February 24th
  • The Division on Addiction hosted Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 12th
  • The Division published a Special Series on Gambling and Addiction on The BASIS throughout the month of March
  • Division faculty presented a free webinar “Situational Preparedness in the Treatment of Gambling Disorder and Other Expressions of Addiction: A Webinar Sponsored by the  Massachusetts Department of Public Health” on April 11th
  • Drs. Debi A. LaPlante and Sarah E. Nelson presented the Division’s Massachusetts Gambling Treatment Services Gap Analysis to the Public Health Trust Fund on November 18th
  • The Division evaluated the Massachusetts Department of Public Health addiction helplines

CHARGE’s Sixth Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s sixth Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 12, 2019 included supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2018

2018 CHARGE activities include:


CHARGE’s Fifth Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s fifth Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 13, 2018 included supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2017

2017 CHARGE activities include:


CHARGE’s Fourth Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s fourth Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 14, 2017 included supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2016

2016 CHARGE activities include:

  • The BASIS dedicated its research reviews and editorials published throughout the month of March to gambling and gambling-related problems, including a first-person account of life with a gambling disorder. Check out this special series here.
  • Dr. Debi A. LaPlante presented a webinar, “Screening for Gambling Disorder.” The National Center for Responsible Gambling hosted the webinar.
  • The Division promoted use of our anonymous BBGS e-Screener online.
  • On February 16, 2016, the Division announced that CHARGE faculty had expanded the online Screening Day toolkit materials to include a Screening Day Flyer template.
  • Dr. Howard Shaffer lectured Addiction Psychiatry Fellows at Boston Veterans Administration, Boston University Medical School about The Syndrome Model of Addiction.
  • During June, the Division released Summary analysis of the Plainridge Park Casino GameSense program activities & visitor survey: December 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016.
  • During October, Drs. Heather Gray and Howard Shaffer, along with Division staff member Layne Keating, appeared before an Open Meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to describe findings from our evaluation of a local responsible gambling initiative.
  • During Fall 2016, the Division began providing training in The Syndrome Model of Addiction, with a focus on screening, prevention, and treatment of gambling disorder, to CHA psychiatry residents.
  • During October, Dr. Heather Gray presented the keynote address to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. Her presentation was titled “Responsible Gambling Interventions: State of the Field.”
  • During December, the Division contracted with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to update and revise Your First Step to Change: Gambling and the Division’s Practice Guidelines for Treating Gambling-related Problems.

CHARGE’s Third Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s third Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 8, 2016 included supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2015

2015 CHARGE activities include:

  • Throughout March 2015, The BASIS published research reviews and editorials that addressed gambling and gambling-related problems. You can find that special series here.
  • On March 4, 2015, Dr. Matthew Tom gave a presentation at Wheelock College titled “Gambling and Statistics: Beyond the Games.”
  • On March 5, 2015, Dr. Sarah Nelson presented to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission about the 2015 Gambling Disorder Screening Day.
  • On March 26, 2015, Dr. Heather Gray presented a webinar, “Addiction As Syndrome: Implications for Understanding and Treating Gambling Disorders and Other Addictive Behaviors.” This webinar was hosted by Screening for Mental Health.
  • On June 30, 2015 Dr. Sarah Nelson discussed the latest in online gambling research on the Gambling Issues Podcast.

CHARGE’s Second Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s second Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 10, 2015 included supporters from within Massachusetts and around the nation.

Looking Back: CHARGE in 2014

2014 CHARGE activities include:

  • During February 2014, CHARGE Faculty began a 10-week gambling seminar series to educate Cambridge Health Alliance Outpatient Addiction Services about gambling and gambling disorder. Topics included an Introduction to CHARGE, Addiction Syndrome: From Gambling to Gambling Disorder, Epidemiology of Gambling: Focus on Massachusetts, Games & Gambling Involvement, Neurobiology of Gambling, Psychopharmacology and Gambling Treatment, Internet Gambling, Exposure & Adaptation to Gambling Opportunities, Treatment in Massachusetts, and Self-exclusion Programs.
  • On February 28, 2014, Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, wrote a BASIS guest Editorial to announce National Problem Gambling Awareness Month and advocate more screening on March 11, 2014 and beyond.
  • On March 1, 2014, Dr. Sarah Nelson presented Using Advances in Addiction to Understand, Assess, and Treat Gambling Problems at the Treating the Addictions annual conference.
  • On March 4, 2014, Dr. Heather Gray, CHARGE Faculty at the Division on Addiction, and Victor Ortiz, Senior Director of Programs and Services at the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, lead a two-hour training at St. Francis House about gambling disorder, screening, and Massachusetts resources for gambling disorder in preparation for Gambling Disorder Screening Day – 2014.
  • On March 19, 2014, research staff from the Division on Addiction presented new findings related to gambling in Massachusetts at the Harvard Psychiatry Research Day Poster Session and Mysell Lecture. Please click here to view the poster.
  • On March 20, 2014, Dr. Sarah Nelson spoke about Internet Gambling: Behaviors, Risks, Interventions, and Implications during a Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling research luncheon in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • On April 10, 2014, Dr. Debi LaPlante presented new findings related to gambling involvement in Massachusetts.
  • On April 29, 2014, Dr. Sarah Nelson visited Bridgewater University to provide gambling disorder training at the School of Social Work as part of a post-Master’s certification program focusing on addiction.
  • On June 12, 2014, Dr. Debi LaPlante spoke about Internet Gambling: A Look at the Evidence during a Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling research luncheon in Boston, Massachusetts.

CHARGE’s First Gambling Disorder Screening Day

CHARGE’s first Gambling Disorder Screening Day on March 11, 2014 included supporters from around the nation: