BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum today hosted the fifth Recovery Reinvented, a daylong in-person and online event focused on reinventing recovery through eliminating the stigma of addiction.
They were joined by national and state addiction recovery experts, more than 650 in-person attendees and over 3,000 online viewers who spanned across the state and nation, with some international audience members watching from Australia, Kenya and Spain.
“Recovery Reinvented has always been about ending the shame and stigma that surrounds the disease of addiction. And as we do every year, we’re building on that foundation and focusing on the relevant issues and topics that can help us build the strongest cultures of recovery in our state and across our nation,” Gov. Burgum said. “While today is to celebrate how far we have come, it’s also an opportunity for us to gather and reflect that we have much work in front of us still to go.”
The governor and first lady emphasized the importance of sharing individual stories of people’s journeys from addiction to recovery, creating recovery-friendly cultures in the workplace and community and eliminating stigma by getting involved in advocacy.
“Our stories have the power to end stigma because they create connection and understanding,“ First Lady Burgum said. “The results from our North Dakota Addressing Addiction survey tell us that stories are an effective community intervention because they increase addiction literacy. The state of North Dakota continues to experience positive momentum toward eliminating stigma, increasing access to behavioral health services and supports, and fostering supportive cultures for recovery.”
The 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. Melissa Henke, Heartview Foundation, for her work in expanding access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for people with an Opioid Use Disorder and using evidence-based practices to eliminate the stigma of addiction for people struggling with addiction.
- Don’t Quit the Quit and Women, Infant & Children (WIC) Programs, for supporting the health and wellness of pregnant and post-partum women on their road to recovery free of judgment, shame or discrimination.
- Community of Cando, N.D., for creating a community-wide supportive culture for recovery, leveraging public-private partnerships, service providers and recreational opportunities for those in recovery or re-entering from the criminal justice system.
- KX News, for creating the “Road to Recovery” series which has produced nearly 50 personal stories of recovery that have helped to educate the community and reduce stigma for those struggling with addiction.
The keynote speakers at today’s event included:
- Dr. Joseph Lee, President & CEO, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
- Dr. Valerie Earnshaw, Stigma Researcher at the University of Delaware and Principal Investigator on the North Dakota Addressing Addiction study.
- Laurie Johnson Wade, Co-Founder of Lost Dreams Awakening.
- Jonathan Holth, community and client development manager for JLG Architects and co-owner of The Toasted Frog restaurants and Urban Stampede Coffee Bar.