I am honored to be recognized as a leader in the movement for progressive change in behavioral health. I was part of the original group of twelve charged with creating a unified definition of harm reduction in the United States. This experience afforded me a priceless education in how to advocate for my community and get results.
To transform the way HIV prevention services were provided to injection drug users, I was called upon to educate professionals nationally and internationally. Most recently, the Obama Administration invited me to serve as a member of the SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Working Group, which led to the first federal resource promoting overdose prevention in 2013.
My priority is to work in partnership with individuals and organizations that are mission driven and committed to promoting the health and well-being of drug users. I have turned struggling rehabs into profitable programs, guiding them to engage a diverse range of referral and payment sources, while managing personnel to implement fresh approaches to branding and consumer engagement through social media. It is my belief that, as a community of providers, we must be as creative as possible in order to keep people alive, and build their capacity for change.
I am driven to help families who are attempting to navigate a complex system to find a treatment program for their loved one. I collaborate with substance users individually to devise a recovery plan incorporating treatment, peer support options and strategies to reduce harm to themselves, their family and the community. My commitment to ensuring that lesbian, gay and trans substance users have access to responsive services is both professional and personal. I love what I do, and I do it 24/7. I am on a lifelong mission to improve the health and well being of drug users, and I am unstoppable.
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“Heather Edney stands out as someone who is not only expert in her field but has the compassion and professionalism to make a difference in people's lives. She is my go-to source on stories that deal with addiction and drug-related issues.”
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