A letter from the FED UP! Coalition Chair:
Dear Friends of the FED UP! Coalition,
Serving as Chair of the FED UP!
FED UP! began its advocacy work at a time when few Americans knew what an “opioid” was. But, as overdose deaths attributed to the overprescribing of opioids increased, awareness of the crisis grew. FED UP!’s rallies and other efforts led to successes, including an invitation to the White House for President Obama’s 2016 signing of the first Federal legislation that would provide meaningful funding to the states for opioid addiction treatment. Today we would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know that we have an opioid crisis … so our movement has definitely brought awareness. However, stronger illicit opioids like fentanyl have recently appeared, and overdose deaths are continuing to rise. Recent Federal legislation has brought some significant positive change, but change at the FDA and funding for opioid addiction treatment are both still desperately needed … and Pharma must be held accountable for the role they have played in the epidemic.
In recognition of the need for FED UP!’s important work to continue, and of my having reached a stage in life that makes it difficult for me to spend the time required to lead this effort, I have decided that I will retire from my position as Chair of FED UP!, a position I have held since the inception of the Coalition. This was not an easy decision, and I plan to remain involved at a level that works for both me and for FED UP! Emily Walden has been voted in as the new Chair of FED UP! effective January 1, 2019. She is the right person at the right time for this job! Her passion and knowledge will bring new awareness and energy to address the issues and lead FED UP!. I hope that you will support Emily’s efforts and offer to help her in any way you can.
It is difficult to know where to begin with my thank-yous to the countless individuals and organizations that have helped me in my role as Chair of FED UP!. I would especially like to thank the other members of the amazing and hard-working FED UP! Executive Committee: Andrew Kolodny, April Rovero, Dan Busch, Emily Walden, Karen Carlini, and Lexi Reed Holtum. But I THANK YOU all for making my time as Chair of the FED UP! Coalition a time of special friendships and rewarding work! I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to serve in this capacity, and I know I will miss it.
Founder and Past-Chair of the FED UP! Coalition