FARGO, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum today hosted the fourth Recovery Reinvented, a daylong virtual event focused on reinventing recovery through eliminating the stigma of addiction.
They were joined by national and state addiction recovery experts and more than 2,500 online viewers who spanned the state and nation, with some international audience members as well in France, Germany, Ireland and Thailand.
“Recovery Reinvented has always been about ending the shame and stigma that surrounds the disease of addiction,” Gov. Burgum said. “As we do every year, we are building on that foundation and focusing on the relevant issues and topics that can help us build the strongest culture of recovery in our state.”
The governor and first lady emphasized the importance of supporting innovation in virtual recovery support services and telehealth; illuminating the connection between mental health, addiction and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs); and inspiring employers to create recovery-friendly workplaces.
“Today is a reminder that you can reinvent recovery from wherever you are,“ First Lady Burgum said. “You can take those first steps to finding help, you can share your story, and you can develop meaningful relationships whether it's on a Zoom call, over the phone or 6 feet apart.“
The online event was highlighted by a number of North Dakota community members and organizations who were recognized for their efforts to implement innovative solutions to address the disease of addiction. Recovery Champion award recipients were:
- Dr. Donald Warne, University of North Dakota, for his work in establishing the world’s first Indigenous Health Ph.D. program and advocating for the health and recovery of Native American populations.
- Solid Comfort, a Fargo-based manufacturer of hospitality furniture, for supporting recovery-friendly policies through its “Solid Start” initiative.
- Fargo Cass Public Health Harm Reduction Team, for rising above the call of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic to care for vulnerable populations who were impacted both by the disease of addiction and COVID-19.
- Simle Middle School, for implementing a wholistic system of care for student behavioral health where every employee in the school is trained to identify unmet needs in students.
The governor and first lady shared available resources that can help individuals and families, including:
- Behavioral Health Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Resources for behavioral health needs.
- Recovery Talk – A 24/7 hotline answered by a trained peer support specialist.
- Project Renew – A partnership between the North Dakota Department of Human Services and Lutheran Social Services that provides free, brief crisis counseling.
- Parents Lead – Resources for parents including how to support children during the COVID-19 pandemic, parenting tips and strategies.
- Opioid Information & Resources – Information on opioids and how to request a free 2-dose Narcan kit.
- COVID-19 Behavioral Health Resources Employer Toolkit – Resources for how employers can support the behavioral health needs of employees and their families.
Additional speakers at today’s event included:
- Dr. Drew Pinsky, addiction specialist and media personality
- David Sheff, author of “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction”
- Dr. Stephen Delisi, medical director for Professional Education Solutions, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
- Employees and executives from Solid Comfort.