A Letter From Our Co-Founder & CEO – Julie Funkhouser
Thank you for visiting our webpage entitled “For Danny.” This page is in honor of my husband who passed away tragically on September 11, 2018, as a result of addiction and co-occurring mental illness. I am grateful that you have found yourself on this page. In response to Danny’s death and the events leading up to his decline, I felt compelled to dive into the world of advocacy on the local, regional, state and federal level. Meredith and I are advocating for continued change and improvements across the mental health and substance use systems. I have chosen to take my grief and channel it toward effecting positive change and joining others in the fight against the crisis of mental illness and addiction that our country faces.
Meredith and I have been connected to the most amazing people including legislators, providers, and other key leaders throughout Richmond, Washington, DC, and beyond. I have been working with Virginia State Senator Jill Vogel who believed in our story and became the Chief Patron for state legislation known as “Danny’s Bill,” or SB 903. The legislation provides greater consistency across the state in regards to how substance use related emergencies are handled in the hospitals. I am thrilled to report that the bill passed through both the Virginia House and Senate chambers uncontested was signed by Governor Northam on April 11, 2020. This much needed bill goes into effect on July 1, 2020.
Danny’s Bill is just the beginning as it provides a foundation on which to build in future legislative sessions. My hope is to continue sharing my story, Danny’s story, our story, and the stories of so many others, in order to strengthen the systems in place addressing these critical issues. There are many promising and amazing opportunities underway. People are listening. And I hope that you continue to stay engaged with this page to get updates on our progress and new endeavors as they unfold.
We are just getting started!
If you wish to stay informed and/or would like to learn how you can help, please join our E-Newsletter. You may also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all of the love, support and encouragement thus far. I need you!
Love and light,
CEO, The Recovery Connection