NEW YORK, June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit that supports families struggling with their son or daughter's substance use, has officially named Fred Muench, PhD, as President and CEO of the organization.
Muench previously served as the Partnership's Director of Research. Marcia Lee Taylor will stay on as the nonprofit's Chief Policy Officer.
Marcia Lee Taylor had most recently served as President and CEO from June 2015 to now, and previously was the Partnership's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, a role she held for more than nine years. The toll of commuting from her home and two young daughters in Detroit, MI to the nonprofit's headquarters in New York led to her decision to step down as President.
"Leading this organization over the past two years has been the privilege of a lifetime. I am so happy to be able to continue to play a key role in the Partnership's work supporting families while traveling less so that I can better support my own family," said Taylor. "Under Fred's leadership, I know the Partnership's empowering and life-saving resources will reach even more parents in need, and I'm excited to be part of those efforts in my new role."
"We are thrilled to have Fred join us as we continue strengthening our digital footprint in our commitment to helping parents and families," said Mike White, Chairman of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. "There is no one more qualified to lead the Partnership than Fred. Not only is he the father of two pre-teens, but he is a clinical psychologist with extensive knowledge and understanding of substance use disorders, as well as a leader in leveraging digital platforms to help ensure that families have better outcomes for a loved one struggling with an addiction."
Added White, "Fred has the full and enthusiastic support of the board, the Partnership's staff and countless other partners who know and respect his all-encompassing work in our field. We look forward to continuing to work on these important health issues together."
While the Partnership's Director of Research, Fred also served as the primary clinical and operational development lead on the Partnership's Toll-Free Helpline (855-DRUGFREE). Most recently, he was the lead on developing Northwell Health's beta Digital Alcohol Reduction Coaching Platform. He also is the Principal Investigator on research studies using technology to combat addiction and impulsivity, through current and previous grants from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Muench cultivated one of the first empirically supported mobile programs to help reduce heavy drinking in the general population.
He also founded and managed Mobile Health Interventions, one of the first behavioral health text-messaging companies on the market, where he built the first addiction continuing-care mobile messaging program, along with multiple behavioral-health messaging programs.
"I am so grateful and excited to be joining the Partnership team to help meet the needs of families struggling with addiction," said Muench. "I look forward to expanding the impact and reach of our services using the latest research and science-based approaches to those in greatest need."
Marcia Lee Taylor will be working alongside Muench as Chief Policy Officer. In this capacity, she will be the primary liaison to government agencies, elected officials and key stakeholder groups on all policy and advocacy matters. She will also continue to work with the organization's corporate partners and serve as a spokesperson for the nonprofit.
"The Partnership is committed to expanding its current array of services for families as well as advocating for policies at the national and state level that increase access to treatment, enforce insurance parity laws and support parents looking for help for their sons and daughters," said Taylor. "At a time when we lose 144 people a day to overdose in this country, it is more important than ever that our resources are available to parents and that the voices of the families that the Partnership serves are heard by policymakers as they respond to the opioid epidemic."
"The Partnership owes a huge debt of gratitude to Marcia for her outstanding leadership throughout her tenure as President," said White. "She heightened our focus in helping families coping with addiction, played a major role in bolstering our direct services to parents and led a comprehensive overhaul of our website. I am delighted she will continue her association with the Partnership."
For more information, visit drugfree.org.
About the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is committed to helping families struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. We empower families with information, support and guidance to get the help their loved one needs and deserves. On our website, drugfree.org, and through our toll-free helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE), we provide families with direct support and guidance to help them address teen substance use. Finally, we build healthy communities, advocating for greater understanding and more effective programs to treat the disease of addiction. As a national nonprofit, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and are thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity. We are proud to receive a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, as well as a National Accredited Charity Seal from The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.
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SOURCE The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids