DRG Executive Search Consultants

Shatterproof (Chief Development Officer)

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The Mission
Shatterproof is committed to ending the devastation that addiction causes families.

The Crisis
More than 20 million Americansone in twelve over the age of 12  suffer from the disease of addiction, making it the fourth most prevalent disease in the United States. Addiction permeates every geographic corner of the country and every socioeconomic class. All told, approximately 80 million Americans have someone in their immediate family  son, daughter, mother or father, who are afflicted with this disease.

The abuse of alcohol and other drugs kills approximately 150,000 Americans each year, making it the countrys third largest cause of death. In 2016, more than 40,000 Americans died of an overdose caused by an opioid; quintuple the number of Americans that died 15 years ago. Drug overdoses now exceed car crashes as the number one accidental cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

In addition to the human toll, the rising costs of addiction exceed $400 billion annually in healthcare, criminal justice and lost productivity. Taken together, all of this makes addiction the most significant health crisis in the United States today.

Despite the facts surrounding this enormous tragedy, the nations response has been misguided and insufficient. The federal government has treated addiction as a serious criminal problem, rather than a public health crisis, and competing bureaucracies and special interests have resulted in a less holistic perspective than this enormous challenge requires.

The Response

Shatterproof was founded to fill the gap for a well-funded, national, not-for-profit organization related to addiction. Formerly Brian's Wish, Shatterproof was founded by former hotel executive Gary Mendell, whose son lost his battle with addiction in 2011. The following year, Gary left the day-to-day responsibilities of his hotel company, funded Shatterproof with an initial contribution
of $5 million and dedicated himself on a pro bono basis to lead this effort. Its mission is to end the devastation that addiction causes families.

In just a few short years, Shatterproof has distinguished itself by its business approach to making impact, and its measurable success in saving the lives of many.

Working via Advocacy, Support, and Education

Foremost to Shatterproofs mission is effecting change through federal and state policies and legislation. This includes mobilizing families affected by addiction to provide a platform to make their voices heard.

Related to federal advocacy, in 2016 Shatterproof was one of a few lead advocates for the passage of two federal laws, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Act, and was also one of the lead advocates for the issuance of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. In 2017, Shatterproof was the single largest advocate related to health insurance for the treatment for addiction.

Related to state advocacy, Shatterproof has led campaigns in 14 states, which has led to life-saving legislation being passed in 13 of these. These laws range from broadening access to naloxone, a mediation which can instantly reverse and overdose, to ensuring prescribing practices of opioids by doctors align with CDC recommendations.

The lack of access to quality, evidence-based addiction treatment cannot be fixed through legislation alone. In this regard, Shatterproof has been successful at mobilizing the broader philanthropic and nonprofit community as partners for the following initiatives:

- Shatterproof has initiated and is leading the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force. The Task Force will seek to improve the quality of treatment in the United States for substance use disorder by developing and implementing a common, continuously improving set of quality measures for providers to follow.

- With support from the Cigna Foundation and CVS Health Foundation, Shatterproof launched an all-new shatterproof.org website providing evidence-based information about the science of addiction, prevention, treatment, and recovery.

- With the support of the United Healthcare Foundation, Shatterproofs Parent Support Group is currently being developed will be piloted in the 1st Quarter of 2018. Recognizing the need, Shatterproof researched best practices and designed a program that will ensure evidenced-based information, consistency and success. The groups will provide parents with the effective tools to support and care for their children who are struggling with a substance use disorder.

- Another important piece of fighting addiction is helping the business community identify better ways of dealing with the many issues around untreated substance abuse. In partnership with the National Safety Council and NORC at the University to Chicago, Shatterproof developed a tool to assist employers in quantifying the cost of untreated substance misuse. It is currently developing a program to help employers reduce these costs, and will be piloting it in 2018.


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