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Press Release | February 16, 2021

Noted Addiction Experts and Advocates Join SAFE Project’s Board of Directors

Arlington, VA – February 16, 2021  

Today, SAFE Project, a national nonprofit committed to overcoming the addiction epidemic in the United States, announced the election of three new board members.  All three are widely respected for their individual efforts to make a difference in our nation’s response to this epidemic.  These esteemed experts and advocates in substance use disorder will be an invaluable asset as they help advance SAFE Project’s efforts.

Elected to the board are:

  • The Honorable Mary Bono: Chairman of the Board, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA);  Chairman and CEO for Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA), and Former Member of Congress
  • Brian Dooner: Principal, Dooner Social Ventures, Advisor at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and Collegiate Recovery Subject Matter Expert and Advocate
  • Hansel Tookes, MD, MPH: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Harm Reduction Expert

“Our new board members offer a unique opportunity for SAFE as our nation faces both a pandemic and epidemic.  We know we have to meet people where they are and provide those critical supports,” said Brandee Izquierdo, Executive Director. “We’re excited to have subject matter experts in the field with a vast array of knowledge who will contribute to the expansion of SAFE’s growth in programmatic development, educational tools, and resources at this time.”

Fatal and nonfatal overdoses surged in the early months of the pandemic, as did the increase in mental health challenges. According to the CDC, over 83,000 Americans lost their lives to overdoses during the one-year period between June 2019 – June 2020, the highest number of Americans lost to overdoses ever recorded.

Over the past year, SAFE Project developed a solution-focused approach quickly pivoting to adapt programs, resources, and training in a virtual world to ensure that the people and communities served by SAFE Project stayed resilient.

Read more about SAFE Project’s Board of Directors here.