Do employees care about your company’s philanthropic priorities? My guess is some do, but if you exclusively build your volunteer programs around your company’s social impact goals, you’re missing out on a huge engagement opportunity.
I see tech companies focusing on STEM, banks working on financial literacy, manufacturers and retailers supporting sustainability through their supply chains. All these make sense when the company is mobilizing its philanthropic and brand resources to achieve social impact goals, but too often companies treat their employees as just another corporate resource to be mobilized.
You may have noticed that not all people are exactly the same. Our upbringing, our life experiences, our cultural influences, our talents, and how we identify ourselves make every person unique. Working for a bank does not mean you are naturally excited about teaching budgeting for small businesses. Being a chip designer does not mean you are naturally excited about helping high school students build robots.
Yet that’s how many volunteer programs are designed—to mobilize employees in support of the impact goal. It’s an easy sell to the C Suite, and it’s also how many nonprofit partners want the programs designed.
Certainly, there’s room for that kind of programming, but you also need to empower your employees to find and support the causes that are important to them. Here are three easy ways to do that:
1) Offer time off for volunteering: Companies that don’t offer paid community service hours are missing a huge recognition opportunity. Community service time is different from PTO because it can only be used for time spent working with a nonprofit. A typical program offers 16 hours a year or more.
2) Create volunteer councils, run by and for employees: Encouraging employees to work together in designing and running local team volunteer events results in higher engagement. It can also build leadership skills and create a great networking opportunity for employees.
3) Recognize independent volunteering: An employee’s hours volunteering as a school crossing guard may not be relevant to your company’s social impact goals, but employees feel great when you recognize them for the volunteer community work they do. And, rather than a typical dollars-for-doers program which is little more than a transaction, recognize volunteerism with e-cards, internal social media mentions, or flexible company grant dollars the employee can direct to a nonprofit they choose.
What other ways do you engage employees that allow them to find and follow their passions in their own volunteering? You can tell me, and pick up tips from leading practitioners, at the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit in New York, June 28-29.
About Peter Dudley
Peter Dudley is an author and nationally recognized expert in corporate social responsibility, marketing, and employee engagement. He’s worked the last 17 years in CSR running employee giving and volunteerism for Wells Fargo, where his workplace campaign was ranked #1 nine years in a row by United Way Worldwide. Before joining Wells Fargo, Peter held various roles in high tech startups, from Marketing Director to software development to community management.
Peter is honored to serve on the Community Health Charities national board of directors as well as the Charities@Work Corporate Advisory Council, which he chaired in 2015 and 2016. He has also served on and chaired United Way Worldwide’s Global Corporate Leadership Council.
Peter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud father of both an Eagle Scout and a transgender daughter.
We are committed to ensuring that our more than 2,000 charity partners are held to the highest standard of trust. Our partnership with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance holds charity partners to the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, signaling that they are trustworthy and held to high standards of conduct.
We are both proud and grateful for our collaboration with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Together, we are building stronger, healthier communities.
It’s that time of year again– the NCAA basketball tournament is underway. While enjoying the hoops action, don’t foul out your health. There are ways to keep on track at work, and at home. Stay in the game with these March Madness health tips:
- Host a lunchtime basketball game or start a company basketball team
- Compete to see who can consistently make the healthiest choices with a March Madness-style bracket
- Plan ahead and snack smart with these healthy options from some of our charity partners:
Calling all corporate social responsibility professionals! Join us in New York City on June 27-28, 2018 for the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit. Register now for early bird pricing.
Wise Giving Wednesday: Deducting Donations at Tax Time was originally published on BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a Community Health Charities partner.
In recent months, concerns were raised about the impact of U.S. tax law changes in 2018 since, among other things, the increase in the standard deduction to $12,000 per individual or $24,000 per couple, could reduce the incentive for some households to get a charitable deduction since fewer tax filers would itemize on their returns. While it is too early to tell if this fear will materialize, those claiming charitable deductions on their 2017 income taxes, should still keep in mind the following fundamentals.
One can claim a charitable deduction for contributions made to organizations tax exempt as charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to veterans organizations tax-exempt under section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to other tax-exempt entities are generally not deductible as charitable gifts. To verify a group’s tax-exempt status visit the following IRS web page: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check
If the charity sends you something of value in response to your gift (for example, a stuffed animal, book, or concert tickets) only the portion of your donation above the fair market value of what you receive would be deductible. The charity will usually remind you about this in their acknowledgement or thank you message.
Direct contributions to needy individuals, are generally not deductible as charitable gifts. While it is clear that one can’t deduct handouts made to the homeless, the deductibility of gifts made to crowdfunding postings can be a bit cloudy depending on the fact circumstances.
If a donor contributes to a charitable project that has been posted to a crowdfunding site that is owned and managed by a 501(c)(3) charity, the donation generally will be deductible. If, however, one contributes to a charitable project on a crowdfunding site that is owned and managed by a for-profit company, one needs to be cautious since the deductibility can be impacted by whether the payment platform used by the site sends the gift directly to the specified charity. If the crowdfunding posting, however, is to help a specific named individual (for example to fund a dream overseas trip) there is little chance for donors to claim a deduction.
Finally, the value of volunteer time or services to a charity is not deductible. Out of pocket expenses, such as gas and travel expenses directly related to the volunteer service will usually be deductible.
Women have been building stronger, healthier communities for centuries— breaking down barriers, advancing research, and making life-saving discoveries.
In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell, MD was the first woman to earn a medical degree. Blackwell co-founded an infirmary to help women gain experience as physicians after her graduation. 167 years later in 2016, there were 253,635 female physicians. Virgina Apgar developed the first series of tests determine newborn babies’ health in 1952. The Apgar Score is used in most hospitals worldwide today and works to reduce infant mortality. Dr. Antonia Novella became the first female and first Hispanic U.S. Surgeon General in 1990. While in office, Novella advocated for the rights and health of women, children, and minorities.
These women, and countless more, have been working to make the world a better place.
Now, it’s our turn. Honor their history by working to improve the future: Volunteer with Alzheimer’s Association, Susan G. Komen, and other charities supporting women. Support Women’s Health and help women live longer, healthier lives.
This Women’s History Month, continue the tradition of building stronger, healthier communities—for everyone.
You take care of your heart and your lungs, but when is the last time to you prioritized kidney health?
Most people are born with two kidneys, and these vital fist-sized organs are responsible for removing waste from the body, regulating blood pressure, controlling the production of red blood cells, producing an active form of Vitamin D that promotes healthy bones, controlling pH levels, and more.
- Eat mindfully: Avoid high sodium foods with high saturated fat content
- Stay hydrated: Keep a water bottle on hand—dehydration can damage kidneys.
- Keep moving: Whether you’re taking a walk or hitting the gym, work physical fitness into your routine.
- Start a conversation: Prevention is the best way to cure kidney disease. Share kidney health resources with friends, family, and coworkers, and make kidney health a group activity.
Your kidneys keep you going. Take the National Kidney Foundation’s advice and Heart Your Kidneys.
February is American Heart Month.
Nearly 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. Chances are, your coworkers are living with a heart condition or know someone who is. This February, start some heart-healthy habits in your workplace:
- Initiate a step competition. Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories—American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week. Get your team geared up with fitness trackers and get moving.
- Allow flexible work schedules. Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease—the leading cause of death for both men and women. Help your employees manage stress by giving them some flexibility. Life happens; allow your employees to cope with it.
- Host a healthy potluck. Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent heart disease. Ask employees to bring in their favorite heart-healthy dishes for an office potluck—they can use American Heart Association’s How To Eat Healthy Without “Dieting” guidelines if they aren’t sure what to bring.
- Share heart healthy resources. Help your employees keep up their healthy habits outside the office with our charity partners’ health resources.
- Support Women’s Health and Men’s Health. Include Women’s Health and Men’s Health in your workplace giving campaign to support research, preventative care, diagnosis, and treatment so that everyone can live their healthiest, best lives.
This Sunday, don’t just join friends and family for the big game—unite with the world in the fight against cancer.
Sunday, February 4 is World Cancer Day. Our charity partners are fighting this Sunday, and every day, to find a cure for cancer and support everyone affected by it:
- Andy was diagnosed at age 60 with multiple myeloma, a cancer that he lost his first wife to 12 years prior. A treatment involving stem cell transplantation saved his life. Now, Andy rides his bike with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training to fundraise and find a cure for multiple myeloma.
- Jim was given six months to live after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. That was 25 years ago. The American Cancer Society funded the scientists who saved Jim’s life.
- Gideon spent his first Christmas at home for the first time in 2017 after spending his first two in care at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Doctors discovered tumors on his legs, arms, face, and stomach when Gideon was only seven months old.
This World Cancer Day, join in the conversation about cancer, beating it, and advancing life-saving research. Share cancer resources and support our trusted charity partners fighting to find a cure: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, Cancer Research Institute, and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Stay in the game with these healthy options for your big game party.
Huddle up, because our charity partners have created some delicious, healthy alternatives to traditional game day snacks.
- American Diabetes Association’s 3-step spinach yogurt dip
- American Heart Association’s sweet take on a game day classic, healthy dessert nachos
- American Diabetes Association’s baked hot wings with a refreshing, creamy dip
- American Cancer Society’s crispy shrimp sensations
- American Heart Association’s hearty no-guilt Greek 7 layer dip
Heart healthy game-day treats that leave everyone satisfied? Touchdown!
Congress recently passed a tax bill reducing taxes for the majority of Americans. While this may be good news for some households, the tax change will double the standard deduction and may reduce the incentive to donate to charity—it is estimated to cost charities $12 to 20 billion annually.
This year, if you’re benefiting from tax changes, consider giving back. Try one of these simple ways to give back, courtesy of the The New York Times. Our favorite?
- The tax bill is expected to cost charities up to $20 billion annually, and these charities and the people they support need your help more than ever.
Read more about #GiveItBack in the The New York Times.
Your good fortune can save a life, find a cure, or rebuild a community. It’s easy to give wisely: Community Health Charities has more than 2,000 Better Business Bureau trusted health charities needing your support. We have multiple ways to incorporate workplace giving into your organization’s culture, whether you’re looking to institute payroll deductions in a customizable platform or simply make it easy for employees to give with a Give Now page.
Community Health Charities proudly pledged to support #OperationPrevention, in partnership with Milken Institute, Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education to combat opioid misuse in schools, homes, and communities nationwide. The no-cost program offers resources for students, teachers, and parents to combat and prevent addiction. Pledge to spread awareness today.
Take action: Check out Community Health Charities’ addiction resources, read one doctor’s take on the opioid crisis, establish a Give Now page or giving campaign to help, and support the work of our charity partners fighting to end addiction: Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and Shatterproof.
This year, don’t make your resolutions about cutting back—make them about giving back.
- Give yourself mental and physical health. This year, prioritize mental and physical wellbeing. 77% of U.S. workers suffer from at least one long-term health condition, from cancer to diabetes. Take time every day to focus on de-stressing and physically moving, whether you’re doing a crossword puzzle, taking a walk, or making a healthy dinner for your family. Give your employees the same gift of wellness by educating employees and offering our health resources.
- Give your time. No matter where you live, your community needs your help. Set aside time in 2018 to volunteer. Use our volunteer opportunity locator tool to find organizations in your area supporting the causes you care about. If you’re looking to volunteer with your office, utilize our Volunteer On The Spot guide to make a difference during the workday.
- Give your support. Congress recently passed a tax bill reducing taxes for the majority of Americans. While this is good news for many, doubling the standard deduction means fewer people will itemize charitable deductions on their taxes and is estimated to cost charities $12 to 20 billion annually. This year, if you saved on your taxes, consider giving back by eating locally or donating financially. Offer your team giving options including Give Now pages or a workplace giving campaign, featuring our causes and over 2,000 trusted charity partners.
New Year, stronger, healthier communities.
Let’s defeat childhood cancer, fight the deadliest diseases, and save lives. Join us to help individuals, children, veterans, and families. Together, we’re building stronger, healthier communities. Thank you.
This year-end giving season is unlike any other.
Annually, 31% of giving occurs during December. However, this year, donors are already fatigued. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires caused over $15 billion in damage as of October. Puerto Ricans have been living without full power since Hurricane Maria hit the island in September. Wildfires took the lives of 42 people, injured 7,700, and burned over 8,400 homes and buildings. Hurricane Harvey flooded Texas, dumping 27 trillion gallons of rain and leaving an estimated 30,000 people needing temporary shelter. As if that weren’t enough, violent tragedies in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs rocked the nation.
As is tradition, Americans rise up and come together to support those in need, with an outpouring of generosity to rebuild lives and communities.
Meanwhile, the House and Senate are working to pass a bill that could have devastating effects on the number of Americans eligible to write off charitable giving as a tax deduction. Of highest concern is doubling the standard deduction limit currently in place for taxpayers. According to IRS data, this would remove the tax incentive for an estimated $95 billion of annual charitable giving and reduce the number of itemizers from one-third of Americans to about five percent. This could reduce charitable giving by as much as$20 billion.
With all the needs in our country (and world), we can’t afford to lose billions in charitable giving. Now is the time to support the causes that matter most to you.
Community Health Charities urges all nonprofits across the nation to alert their constituencies to help turn the tide on what could be some very serious and unintended consequences—charities are expected to lose billions of dollars in charitable donations—if the current versions of the Senate and House tax reform bills pass without changes we urgently seek.
We need all Community Health Charities’ charity partners, supporters, and friends to join the thousands of other nonprofits in contacting your elected officials and urging them to protect charitable giving in the Senate tax reform bill. Doubling the standard deduction will eliminate the charitable deduction for 95% of Americans. The result? An estimated $12-20 billion lost in charitable giving. Ask your senator to avoid this devastating consequence by expanding the charitable deduction to all Americans with the Universal Charitable Giving Act.
The House took up and passed its tax bill on Thursday. The Senate sent a tax bill out of the Finance Committee on Thursday as well. We expect it to go to the floor the week after Thanksgiving. However, it has been a case of “good news” and “bad news” so far.
As of this writing, both the House and Senate raised the limits on how much taxpayers can give from 50 to 60% of their adjusted gross income. That is good. In the not-so-good category, neither the House nor the Senate have embraced a universal charitable deduction to preserve the value of the charitable deduction.
The details of the proposed legislation:
What is the same?
Both the Senate and House bills share some of the same provisions:
- Doubled standard deduction and preservation of the charitable deduction.
- Increased AGI limits for the charitable deduction for cash gifts from 50% to 60% (Senate sunset after 12/31/2025).
- Elimination of the Pease limitation (Senate sunset after 12/31/2025).
- A 1.4% excise tax on investment income of private colleges and universities, and organizations formally related to the institution, with assets valued of at least $250,000 per full-time student.
- Doubled estate tax and generation-skipping tax exemption to $10 million (Senate sunset after 12/31/2025).
- A 20% excise tax on executive compensation over $1 million at tax-exempt organizations.
What is different?
There are some key differences. The House version also includes:
- Streamlined private foundation excise tax to 1.4%.
- Requirement that donor-advised fund sponsoring organizations disclose inactive fund policies, as well as average amount of grants made from their DAFs.
- Estate tax and generation-skipping tax repeal after six years.
- Repeal of the Johnson Amendment, effectively allowing all 501(c)(3) organizations to engage in political speech in the ordinary course of the organization’s business (Sunset after five years).
What comes next:
Now, the Senate Finance Committee will have to write legislative text based on the provisions that passed on Thursday. The Senate is expected to bring the bill to the floor for a vote the week of November 27, and thereafter the two chambers will have to come to an agreement before the final bill can be sent to the President’s desk. There are many differences between the Senate and House versions, so we expect a lot of change and compromise in the negotiation process.
During the debate in the Senate Finance Committee, Senators Stabenow (D-MI) and Wyden (D-OR) offered an amendment that would create an above-the-line charitable deduction for non-itemizers with an AGI cap of 60% and a phase-out for high-income taxpayers, similar to the Pease limitation. After Republicans argued that they are maintaining the charitable deduction in tax reform, and claimed that you can only create this policy if you decide not to double the standard deduction, the provision failed on a party-line vote of 14 nays to 12 yeas.
Although both were listed with the original amendments, Senator Thune (R-SD) did not offer the CHARITY Act as an amendment or the extended carryforward rule. The CHARITY Act would streamline the PF excise tax to 1%, expand the IRA charitable rollover to include distributions to donor-advised funds, and declare a sense of the Senate that the scope and value of the charitable deduction should not be diminished in comprehensive tax reform, among other provisions. The extended carryforward rule would make the charitable carryforward window 15 years instead of the 5 year window under current law.
Tax Policy Center and JCT Analyses
New research from the Tax Policy Center (TPC) tells us charitable giving will be affected by the House tax reform bill, and it’s mostly what we already knew. TPC estimates that H.R. 1 could reduce charitable giving by between $12 billion and $20 billion in 2018. In addition, while TPC has yet to publish research on the Senate version, it is likely safe to assume the findings would be similar.
This research is remarkably consistent with a study released earlier this year from the Indiana University (IU) Lilly Family School of Philanthropy that found the proposals considered in the Republican tax reform plan – such as expanding the standard deduction – could reduce charitable giving by as much as $13 billion. The drop in giving comes as a result of reducing the number of those who itemize to just 5% of Americans, which the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirmed last week would lead to a reduction of $95 billion being claimed as charitable deductions.
The evidence is now stacking up – the unintended consequence of current tax reform policies under consideration is a reduction in charitable giving.
Universal Charitable Giving Act
As you know, charities have rallied behind a universal charitable deduction as a way to protect against the consequences of an expanded standard deduction. Fortunately, there are options for lawmakers to consider. Just this week on Tuesday, November 14, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Senate companion to the Universal Charitable Giving Act, which was originally introduced by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) in the House in October. As you may recall, the bill would extend an above-the-line charitable deduction to non-itemizers that would be capped at one-third of the standard deduction. So, although nothing was included in the Senate tax package that would ensure more Americans have access to a tax benefit for charitable giving, Senator Lankford’s universal charitable a deduction bill can still be considered by the full Senate, and perhaps even included in their final tax reform bill.
What needs to be done:
Ask your constituencies to contact their senators – and specifically Senator James Lankford (R-OK)— and urge them to protect charitable giving in the Senate tax reform bill. They need to understand that the charitable deduction, in the current iteration, is not being protected. Again, have your supporters explain how doubling of the standard deduction will eliminate the charitable deduction for 95% of Americans and result in a loss of $12-20 billion in charitable giving. Tell your senator that the way to avoid this devastating consequence is to expand the charitable deduction to all Americans.
Even though the House has already passed its version of tax reform, have them contact their representative and relay the same information. The House and Senate versions of tax reform still need to be reconciled and your elected officials need to understand what the current proposals will do to charitable giving.
Keep in mind that all elected officials will be in their home states and districts this upcoming Thanksgiving week. More than ever before, now is the time for your organization to rally the troops and tell our elected representatives how tax reform will affect your charities and community.
Looking to donate to a cause close to your heart? This #GivingTuesday—November 28, 2017— follow these three steps for a chance to win $500 to donate to your favorite charity from our charity partners.
- Take a #HealthySelfie that shows you doing something to improve health — it could be eating a healthy snack, using our health resources, hitting the gym, volunteering or giving to make your community healthier, or just taking a break for your mental health.
- Share your #HealthySelfie on social media. Entries submitted via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will have a chance to win.
- Tag @HealthCharities, #GivingTuesday, and #HealthySelfie in your submission.
A different winner will be chosen on each platform, based on engagement (so encourage your friends to favorite/like your post). The winner of the Twitter competition will be able to direct $500 to a charity partner of their choice; winners on Instagram and Facebook will be able to direct $250. See list of eligible charities. Be sure to enter only pictures that you have a right to share and post. Thanks to a generous donor for sponsoring this campaign.
Submission deadline is November 28 11:59 PM ET. Engagements are due November 29 9:00 AM ET.
As the holidays and giving season approach, it’s a great time to start thinking of ways to give back to your community and the causes important to you.
This year, join us for #GivingTuesday – a national movement focused on charity on the first Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday — and help build stronger, healthier communities.
Here are six ways to give back:
- Volunteer your time. Our volunteer locator tool helps you find opportunities by zip code or keyword.
- Support your favorite health cause. Our causes make it easy to support the issues close to your heart—whether it’s children, veterans, women’s health, or disasters. Pick one or create your own custom cause.
- Share your #HealthySelfie. Follow three simple steps for a chance to win $500 to direct to your favorite charity from our charity partners.
- Start a workplace giving campaign or create a custom Give Now page. It’s easier than ever to give back to the causes you care about at work with our GivingMatters365 platform or Give Now. These flexible tools are simple to use, plus we offer turnkey campaign materials and resources, and handle the set-up and processing of your campaign.
- Show some love with the Combined Federal Campaign. If you’re a federal or military employee, you’re eligible to give to the 2017 Combined Federal Campaign. Community Health Charities is one of the campaign’s oldest and largest partners, distributing millions of public sector contributions. Join us this year and support the Combined Federal Campaign to defeat cancer, fight the deadliest diseases, and save lives.
- Raise awareness and share critical health resources.
Giving Tuesday is November 28 this year, but giving back isn’t limited to one day. Together, we can build stronger, healthier communities all year long.
“It was the first time I was ever hooked to something and would get sick from not using. Then they took away my prescription. I ended up selling all my valuable stuff to buy pills on the streets. Forget some of my obligations. I hated who I had become.”
Jerry Chappell is one of the two million Americans living the nightmare of addiction to prescription pain medications. His story is not only compelling, but all too familiar to those of us who work in addiction medicine.
Addiction to prescription pain medications and heroin is not a new phenomenon. In 2008, I developed and ran an opioid use disorder clinic out of my outpatient practice in rural West Virginia. Although death by overdose was not considered a national epidemic or a political hot topic for the media, my neighbors, colleagues, friends’ parents, and many of the people living in the Ohio Valley were suffering and dying from their addictions.
The two years of engaging patients in a comprehensive medical/behavioral treatment plan, encouraging their participation in peer and community sober support systems, and watching them meet their recovery goals were the most rewarding years of my clinical practice. During these years, I learned that patients can manage their chronic disease when they are managed by qualified physicians, provided with evidence-based medicine, and administered proper medication-assisted treatments (MAT) and urine drug screens (UDS). In 2010, I closed my practice and took a position in managed care.
The following two years were the most somber and frustrating in my professional career. At first I wondered, “Why are few of my colleagues experiencing the same feelings of reward and accomplishment that I had treating those suffering from addiction? Why are people still dying of overdose?” Then, I started receiving the not-so-infrequent calls, texts, and photos from my medical assistant back in West Virginia. Sometimes she would send snapshots of the latest evening news from her television screen. One after another were sad stories of previous patients having relapsed, been arrested, overdosed, or died. Even while writing this, I am haunted by feelings of guilt and questions of “What if I had stayed? Would they still be alive had I not left them?”
A great deal of my career since then has been dedicated to promoting quality care and services for those with Opioid Use Disorder. Over the last six years, those of us in the payer, or insurance coverage, industry have seen a “perfect storm” of events giving rise to the epidemic we see today. More potent pain medications have been manufactured and sales continue to rise. Increased utilization and demand for addiction services have quickly overwhelmed a system with few addiction specialists. A lack of industry-wide standards have resulted in extreme variance in treatment modalities.
These factors are not the primary reason that the opioid epidemic has received national attention: The face of opioid addiction has changed. Although still in existence, images of the poor, minorities, derelicts, and those on the fringe of society have been replaced by images of the rich, famous, young, and white. Methadone clinics have been replaced by posh destination facilities offering personal training, yoga, seaside views, and five-star culinary. Scholarships and graduation certificates replace the guarantee of transparency, outcomes, and results. An emphasis on “access to care” outweighs the demand for quality.
Fortunately, addiction medicine is now recognized as a medical specialty: research and clinical experience have resulted in standards of care, clinical guidelines, and evidence-based practice. The challenge now is combatting a billion dollar industry beholden to old, ineffective treatment practices, and replacing them with medicine-based and data-driven treatment models like we have for every other epidemic we have faced in modern times.
Perhaps one day the norm will be stories of people getting their lives back, year-over-year decrease in death by overdose, and practices based on science, research, and evidenced-based medicine. Hopefully we all will feel the sense of reward and hope that I did over a decade ago while practicing in rural America.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, utilize Community Health Charities’ opioid and addiction health resources for response toolkits, intervention guidelines, risk factors, and more. To learn more, utilize our charity partners’ additional resources: Shatterproof, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
About Dr. James
Dr. Frank James earned his law and medical degrees at Southern Illinois University. He is board certified in General, Child and Adolescent and Forensic Psychiatry as well as Addiction Medicine.
Dr. James spent his clinical years providing inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services in underserved areas in the Ohio Valley. He developed a specialty outpatient clinic for opioid use disorder (OUD). His treatment model focused on the integration of group therapy and psychotropic medication management with the use of urine drug screens (UDS) and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
For the last seven years, Dr. James has worked in managed care. He provides large behavioral health organizations guidance in drafting evidenced-based benefit guidelines specific to OUD treatment and service, including level of care determination, MAT prior authorizations, and UDS coverage determination. His current focus is medical/behavioral integration and alternative payment model development for substance use disorder services.
Dr. James is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Finance Committee and Policy Committee. He is the vice chair of ASAM’s Payer Relations Committee, and alternate to ASAM’s board of directors for Region III.
Out of an estimated 18.5 million military veterans in the United States, four million are living with a service-connected disability. One in four military members show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other mental health condition.
They’ve sacrificed and served our country. They fought for us. Now it’s time to fight for them.
In the week leading up to Veteran’s Day, let’s show our thanks to our nation’s military, veterans, and first responders:
- Use our Volunteer on the Spot Guideto coordinate a volunteer event in your office. Write cards for veterans in hospitals, make snack packs for family members visiting their loved ones, or come up with your own event! To volunteer onsite—visit our volunteer locator to find volunteer opportunities near you.
- Support Hero’s Health. Your support will provide thousands of military families free lodging close to loved ones hospitalized for an illness, disease, or injury; prevent veterans from being in the emergency room, homeless, and incarcerated due to mental illness; and construct housing for families of injured servicemen and women.
- Share our Military and Veteran health resources—get peer support, learn mental health warning signs, find PTSD assistance or housing support, and more.
- Show some love with the Combined Federal Campaign. Military and Federal employees are eligible to give during the 2017 campaign. Community Health Charities is one of the campaign’s oldest and largest partners, distributing millions of public sector contributions. November 6-12 is the campaign’s Veterans Week—support our nation’s military this week and support the Combined Federal Campaign.
For more stories to inspire action this Veteran’s day, and all year, check out these articles from and about those who have served our country:
My Greatest Honor: Serving Our Country – David Selzer, Vice President of Community Health Charities
Not All Battles are Fought in a War Zone – Thomas Bognanno, CEO of Community Health Charities
This Veteran’s Day, Support Our Heroes – Thomas Bognanno, CEO of Community Health Charities
I Don’t Deserve a Medal – Amanda Ponzar, CMO of Community Health Charities