"Having Our Voices Heard: Raising an Effective Voice in a Changing and Challenging World” was the theme for the 2018 Conference of Affiliates, which was held April 8-11 near the Nation’s Capitol and again included an Advocacy Day. The Conference opened on Sunday evening with a Welcoming Reception hosted by PACE (Professional Association of Council Executives). That was followed by a session entitled, “A New Beginning: Introduction to Facing Addiction with NCADD, where Andy Pucher and Jim Hood, Co-CEOs, provided background on the reasons for the merger and the plans for the future which include a very strong focus on Affiliates. Julie Dostal, President of PACE, and Executive Director of the LEAF Council on Addictions in Oneonta, NY, spoke on Affiliate involvement with the merged organization. Affiliates hold four of the 22 Board seats and are represented on all Committees. Julie asked for volunteers who might be selected to serve on Committees and said that was to be the training ground for future Board service.
Monday morning’s program continued the topic of the new organization with a discussion on “Defining Our Mission.” The draft mission/vision statement that had been circulated to Affiliates for review and comment before the Conference, was open for further discussion and several suggested edits were offered for incorporation into the final document. Other topics covered on Monday were “Funding the Work We Do,” “Effective Advocacy at Federal, State and Local Levels” and “The Interface Between Social Media and Grassroots Advocacy.” Vaughn Nestor, Strategic Partner Manager, Community Partnertships at Facebook, presented a session on “Using Facebook to Advance Our Message.”
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CAPT Jennifer Fan, the ONDCP Liaison in the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), substituting for CSAP Director Fran Harding who was attending a mandatory agency-wide opioid training , spoke on “Making the Case for Continuing Our Investment in Prevention.” CAPT Fan provided data on gains that have been made as a result of prevention efforts and also talked about the opioid epidemic and the White House Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse, the various prevention grant opportunities within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and an Underage Drinking PSA through its “Talk: They Hear You” campaign.
The Awards Luncheon featured a mesmerizing speech by Mollie Birney, who spoke of growing up in an alcoholic family, developing an eating disorder and her recovery. The Executive Service Awards for length of service as Affiliate executive directors also were presented. The Awards Luncheon was sponsored by Mutual of America.
NCADD Advocacy Day, on Tuesday, April 10, was again a highlight of the Conference with participants making visits to their congressional representatives. With the help of Carol McDaid, Holly Strain and Sarah Herbert of Capitol Decisions, Inc., NCADD advocates had been coached in how to be effective advocates and went to the Hill with three “asks”: Cosponsorship of CARA (Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act) 2.0; Cosponsorship of “The Preventing Overdoses in the Emergency Rooms Act,” and support for Youth Prevention and Recovery Initiative in the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee Discussion Draft. An Advocacy Day Debriefing was held the following day where participants shared their experiences and offered suggestions for future Advocacy Days.
The popular Affiliate Round Robin was moderated by Joyce Bracey, Executive Director of CADA Prevention & Recovery Center, the New Orleans Affiliate,
You can see some of our pictures in the gallery below and additional Hill Day photos through this link
You can download some of the conference presentations with the downloads that follow the gallery.
- Aaron Kucharski Aaron Kucharski
- Andy Pucher Andy Pucher
- Carol McDaid Carol McDaid
- Jennifer Fan Jennifer Fan
- Jim Hood Jim Hood
- Julie Dostal Julie Dostal
- Listening raptly Listening raptly
- Mollie Birney Mollie Birney
- On the Hill. On the Hill.
- On the way to Capitol Hill. On the way to Capitol Hill.
- Washington DC abloom Washington DC abloom
- Making the Case for Continuing Our Investment in Prevention (140 Downloads)
- Facing Addiction with NCADD advocacy day (129 Downloads)
- Community Best Practices 101 (119 Downloads)