Portland, Oregon (May 10, 2021)—Two pioneering women who have significantly advanced public education and dialogue around addiction and recovery will be honored as the first recipients of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's new Humanitarian Award.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum and Stanford University's Anna Lembke, MD, will receive their awards during a virtual event May 14 from 5 to 6 p.m. PDT. Thanks to generous Hazelden Betty Ford donors, attendance is complimentary and open to all.
"We are excited and thrilled to celebrate the remarkable achievements of these extraordinary women who personify former First Lady Betty Ford's vision of breaking down the stigma of addiction and opening doors to recovery for millions," said Mark G. Mishek, president and CEO of Hazelden Betty Ford, the nation's largest nonprofit system of addiction treatment, co-occurring mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services.
Rosenblum, a former federal prosecutor and state judge serving in her third term as attorney general, has prioritized expanding understanding of addiction, treatment and recovery within the state's justice system and assisting local and state leaders in their missions to treat substance use disorder and create communities free from addiction. Dr. Lembke, professor and medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, was one of the first in the medical community to sound the alarm regarding opioid overprescribing and the opioid epidemic. Her book—Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It's So Hard to Stop—helped educate the public and policymakers across the country about the causes of and solutions to the national addition crisis.
"Attorney General Rosenblum and Dr. Lembke understand that addiction is a public health problem so big and complex it requires leadership and change at every level and in every area of society, and we're grateful for the tremendous impact they've made in their respective spheres of influence," Mishek said.
Nationally known speaker and bestselling author William C. Moyers, Hazelden Betty Ford's vice president of public affairs and community relations, will emcee. Speakers will include Mishek; Hazelden Betty Ford CEO Joseph Lee, MD, who takes the helm of the nonprofit on June 28; and Hazelden Betty Ford Executive Director of Medical and Professional Education Joseph Skrajewski—with special guest Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former First Lady Betty Ford and longtime trustee of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
All proceeds from the Humanitarian Awards event will support Hazelden Betty Ford's Addiction & Recovery Institute for Medical Education, which serves as a national training center for health care professionals.
"It's an honor to be recognized by Hazelden Betty Ford, which has such a tremendous legacy of healing, hope, advocacy and love, and whose namesake Mrs. Ford inspired so many by sharing her own story of recovery publicly and advocating for others," said Dr. Lembke.
"Betty Ford is a hero to many, including me," added Rosenblum. "This recognition means a great deal coming from the organization that carries on her stigma-smashing legacy and continues to advance addiction treatment and recovery throughout the United States."
"Dr. Lembke and Attorney General Rosenblum recognize that addiction is a preventable, treatable health condition," said Hazelden Betty Ford Trustee Ann Highet, chair of the Humanitarian Awards ceremony. "Just as they honor the dignity, respect and humanity of those who struggle with the disease, we are elated to honor them with the inaugural Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Humanitarian Awards."
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.