First Lady receives national award for recovery advocacy

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 3:30pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Addiction Policy Forum today is honoring First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum with its Pillar of Excellence award for her advocacy work with addiction and recovery.

The Washington, D.C.-based Addiction Policy Forum is a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness around addiction and improving national policy through a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, recovery and criminal justice reform.

“The Addiction Policy Forum is one of the most innovative advocacy groups in the nation working on addiction and recovery,” Helgaas Burgum said. “Its president and CEO, Jessica Hulsey Nickel, is a courageous leader who is rethinking approaches to addiction and recovery and expanding access through grassroots advocacy. It is an honor to receive this award, which is really a testament to North Dakota’s collective efforts to eliminate the shame and stigma of addiction and to create pathways to recovery for people, families and communities struggling with the disease of addiction.”

First Lady Helgaas Burgum is among 10 recipients being honored by the Addiction Policy Forum. Other honorees include Vicky Cornell, wife of the late musician Chris Cornell; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.; Amy Haskins, project director of the Jackson County (W.Va.) Anti-Drug Coalition; Sharon L. Walsh, Ph.D., director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky; Devin Reaves of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition; Essex County (Mass.) District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; and Mundelein, Ill., Chief of Police Eric Guenther.