American Heart Association CEO Roundtable Pledges Leadership to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic

February 12, 2018

The Opioid Crisis

The toll of increasing prescription and illicit opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose has devastated communities across the United States and has reached crisis proportions, taking a tragic toll on countless individuals and our society. Every day, an estimated 90 Americans die from an opioid overdose resulting in more than 300,000 deaths since 2000. Meanwhile, approximately 25 million Americans experience pain every day and for many, this pain interferes with their physical and mental health, work productivity, social interactions, and activities of daily living. 

An Opportunity for Employers to Lead

As a leadership collaborative of large employers representing over 9 million employees and family members, the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable cares deeply about its workforce and is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities across the nation.

Guided by the reliable science of the American Heart Association and its longstanding reputation as a trusted voice for patients and consumers, CEO Roundtable members are committed to adopting evidence-based health, safety and well-being solutions to enrich the lives of their employees and families. Together, member CEOs collectively pledge to tackle the opioid epidemic. Here is their call to action:

We encourage employers across the nation to join us and embrace the important role that they and business leaders can take in our communities to tackle the opioid crisis head on. We are completely committed to help curb abuse. We encourage partnership with health care plans, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers to create new policies and solutions, including defining what appropriate use looks like. We support a drug-free work environment, leveraging resources and adhering to the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids to reverse these devastating trends. 

Signed:

Andrea J. Ayers, President & CEO, Convergys Corporation

Mitch Barns, CEO, Nielsen

Chip Bergh, President & CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.

Robert A. Bradway, Chairman & CEO, Amgen

Bruce Broussard, President & CEO, Humana

Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association

Lloyd H. Dean, President & CEO, Dignity Health

Robert M. Dutkowsky, Chairman & CEO, Tech Data

Cathy Engelbert, CEO, Deloitte

Eric J. Foss, Chairman, President & CEO, Aramark

Ken Frazier, Chairman & CEO, Merck

James P. Gorman, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Stanley

Alex Gorsky, Chairman & CEO, Johnson & Johnson

Mindy Grossman, CEO, Weight Watchers

Milton Johnson, Chairman & CEO, HCA

Henry R. Kravis, Co-Chairman & Co-CEO, KKR

Hal Lawton, President, Macy’s, Inc.

Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company

Terry Lundgren, Former Executive Chairman, Macy’s, Inc.

Mike Mahoney, Chairman & CEO, Boston Scientific

Larry Merlo, President & CEO, CVS Health

Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO, Bank of America

Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines

Stefano Pessina, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President & CEO, IBM

Horacio D. Rozanski, President & CEO, Booz Allen Hamilton

Pietro Satriano, President & CEO, US Foods

Mark Schneider, CEO, Nestlé S.A.

Andrew Swinand, North America CEO, Leo Burnett Group

James S. Tisch, President & CEO, Loews Corporation

Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman & CEO, Kaiser Permanente

Al Walker, Chairman, President & CEO, Anadarko

Tim Wentworth, President & CEO, Express Scripts

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries:

Jennifer Pratt: 214.706.2229; jennifer.pratt@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org