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September 14, 2000

Contact: Hooshna Amaria (hooshnaa@mbooth.com)
Dennis Tartaglia (dennist@mbooth.com)
M Booth & Associates

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. September 14, 2000 – In response to more than half a million preventable deaths each year due to substance abuse, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today unveiled two newly created national programs.

Innovators Combating Substance Abuse and Developing Leadership In Reducing Substance Abuse officially debuted at a kick-off press conference at the Willard Hotel.

Innovators Combating Substance Abuse is a $7 million national program designed to recognize and reward individuals who have made substantial and innovative contributions in the field of substance abuse.

"These individuals represent the most progressive and cutting-edge work being done in the field of substance abuse today" said Dr. John Slade, Professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Director of the programs. "The ingenuity they foster will not only help those currently battling alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse problems, but encourage others to begin seeking innovative and groundbreaking ways to combat the country’s number one source of preventable deaths."

Five awards will be made annually, each award includes a grant of $300,000 that recognizes the innovator’s contributions to the field and allows the recipient to continue to seek creative solutions to the nation’s substance abuse problems. Awardees will conduct projects over a period of up to three years that advance the field. This year’s awardees represent a cross section of the country including: Washington, D.C.; Berkeley; San Francisco; Raleigh, North Carolina and Portland, Oregon.

Developing Leadership In Reducing Substance Abuse seeks to advance treatment and prevention of these problems by nurturing the next generation of public health leaders in the field. This $6 million program offers a three-year fellowship for 10 individuals annually who have demonstrated a strong commitment to a career consistent with the program’s purpose.
Both programs, developed and funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and managed by national program office located at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – School of Public Health, are designed to combat the nation’s number one health problem – substance abuse. Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs cause more than half a million preventable deaths each year in the United States.

"Substance abuse tears at the very fabric of this country by contributing to a host of health, safety and social problems such as violence, crime, automobile crashes, overburdened social service systems and poor performance at school or work," said Nancy Kaufman, Vice President at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "These programs address the need to recognize accomplishment and to develop visionary and diverse leaders so we will be better able to reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse."

The following are recipients of the 2000 Innovators Award:

Dr. Stanton Glantz is professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco has made numerous contributions to tobacco control over the last 20 years. Dr. Glantz’s work has ranged from scholarly articles on environmental tobacco smoke to skillful advocacy for effective policies

Dr. Sandra Headen is the executive director of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Headen’s trailblazing work in research, community advocacy and health promotion in low income communities of color has provided valuable information on how race, gender and other factors influence teens’ motivations to smoke or not to smoke

Dr. Jack Henningfield is the vice-president for research and health policy at Pinney Associates in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Henningfield’s path-breaking work on the pharmacology of nicotine helped lay the foundation for the modern understanding of nicotine as an addicting drug and nicotine replacement as a treatment strategy for tobacco dependence

Dr. Denise Herd is an associate professor in the school of public health at the University of California, Berkeley. An anthropologist by training, Dr. Herd’s research has led to a greater awareness and understanding of the drinking patterns and drinking problems in African-Americans.

Dr. Lawrence Wallack is professor and Director of the School of Community Health at Portland State University and founder of the Berkeley Media Studies Group. Dr. Wallack helped to develop the public health-based "environmental approach" to prevention, broadening understanding of the causes and prevention of substance abuse problems, and pioneered media advocacy, the strategic use of mass media to advance public policy initiatives.

National programs supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the national program office at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – School of Public Health. The mission of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. One of its three major grantmaking goals is to promote health and reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Copyright 2004 The Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, Maryland.
All rights reserved. Last Updated January 15, 2010

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