BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the members of the Office of Recovery Reinvented Advisory Council, which will support strategic efforts to strengthen recovery services and eliminate the shame and stigma of the disease of addiction in North Dakota.
The Office of Recovery Reinvented was established by executive order in January and consists of First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum as chair and six members appointed by the governor.
Gov. Burgum appointed the members from a pool of more than 50 applicants representing the areas of recovery, behavioral health, education, community, tribal leadership, criminal justice and families impacted by the disease of addiction.
The Advisory Council members are:
- Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, First Lady of North Dakota and a recovery advocate with 16 years of long-term recovery.
- Adam Martin, Fargo, executive director of F5 Project in Fargo, representing criminal justice reform and re-entry. Martin has been in long-term recovery for five years and currently oversees six recovery houses in Fargo and one in Bismarck.
- Dr. Melissa Henke, Bismarck, medical director for Heartview Foundation. Henke is an advocate for recovery and has presented at local, regional and national conferences on medication assisted treatment.
- Dr. Monica Mayer, New Town, North Segment councilwoman for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation with over 20 years of clinical and emergency room physician experience in the Great Plains area of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
- Jonathan Holth, Grand Forks, co-owner of The Toasted Frog restaurants, co-founder and past board president of the Downtown Development Association of Grand Forks and interim president of the Downtown Community Partnership in Fargo, who has been in long-term recovery for over nine years. He is currently providing Main Street consulting to various cities in North Dakota.
- John Mahoney, Bismarck, an attorney with Mahoney & Mahoney who has served as a North Dakota state’s attorney for 35 years and previously served in the North Dakota House of Representatives for 12 years. He has worked with tribal judiciary and other aspects of Native American culture in North Dakota for more than 20 years.
- Sheila Braunberger, West Fargo, parent of a child who struggled with a heroin addiction for more than four years, was incarcerated and is now in recovery.
The Office of Recovery Reinvented has an important partnership with the North Dakota Behavioral Health Division due to its commitment to innovation around recovery. Behavioral Health Division Director Pam Sagness will play a key role in the council process as will Jenny Olson, managing director of the Office of Recovery Reinvented.
“Kathryn and I are deeply grateful for the strong interest from many qualified candidates in serving on this Advisory Council, which demonstrates the concern, compassion and experience North Dakotans have with the disease of addiction and those struggling in our communities,” Burgum said, noting drug overdose deaths in North Dakota more than tripled from 2013 to 2016, from 20 to 77. “These council members bring diverse backgrounds and a broad range of expertise that will advance our efforts to eliminate the shame and stigma of the disease of addiction, helping more people to hope again and to seek treatment and understand that recovery is possible.”
The Office of Recovery Reinvented will develop and execute initiatives that complement the governor’s strategic initiative focused on behavioral health, including recovery from the disease of addiction. The Office will collaborate with executive branch agencies, advocates, volunteers and others on various initiatives, pursuing opportunities to launch cost-effective, grassroots efforts to eliminate the shame and stigma of the disease of addiction.
"The creation of the Office of Recovery Reinvented is historic for our state. This council will have the opportunity to help North Dakotans eliminate the shame and stigma of addiction," Helgaas Burgum said. "We are a small state of caring and committed people, and together we can break down the barriers of stigma and set an example for other states. Part of the council's role will be to encourage everyone to play a role in eliminating stigma by talking about the difficulties and challenges faced by those impacted by the chronic disease of addiction."