In November 2016, 15 programs were awarded funds through the first-ever ALKERMES Inspiration Grants initiative. The communities affected by mental health conditions and substance use disorders face significant societal challenges that often stand in the way of patients and families getting the best possible care. Alkermes developed this competitive grants program to fund innovative programs to support people affected and serve as a catalyst for change.
The program launched in mid-September and when the submission period closed on October 7, the company had received more than 330 requests. The overwhelming response and the quality of the applications demonstrated that the lack of support and infrastructure to support patients and families is far greater than we ever could have imagined.
Applicants ranged from large advocacy organizations, to academic institutions to small grass roots organizations trying to make a difference – and the selected programs were equally diverse. To view the full list of recipients, please click here.
About the program:
The ALKERMES Inspiration Grants program is a competitive request for proposal (RFP) based grants initiative developed to underscore the company’s ongoing commitment to support the comprehensive needs of people affected by mental health and substance use disorders. Through this initiative, Alkermes awarded more than $1 million in grants for the development or expansion of innovative programs to support the mental health and addiction communities. Eligible non-profit organizations applied for grants of up to $25,000 (Emergence Grant) or up to $100,000 (Innovation Grant). Multiple submissions were permitted.
Selected programs were chosen by Alkermes in partnership with a group of external reviewers who represent the perspectives of the community. These reviewers included a patient advocate, a representative from the criminal justice system, a person in recovery and a caregiver. Proposals were evaluated based on a standard set of review criteria, which included potential impact, identification of need and creativity of the solution, the organization’s ability to execute, and the sustainability of the program.
About the reviewers:
Kim McCleary is managing director at FasterCures, leading efforts on key programmatic areas including FDA and how it evaluates risk and benefit for patients, and medical innovation and how we determine value and reimbursement. Prior to FasterCures, Kim was the president and CEO of CFIDS Association of America from 1991 to 2013. She helped found the Chronic Pain Research Alliance and partnered with advocacy leaders and Pfizer to establish the Campaign to End Women’s Pain in 2010.
Kim led the “Partnering to End Pain” project selected by Sanofi U.S. as a finalist in the 2012 Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge. Kim participated in FDA meetings to help shape its Patient-Focused Drug Development Initiative (PFDDI), including a range of consultations leading up to the first of the 20 PFDDI workshops focused on CFS and ME in 2013. With leaders in the narcolepsy community, McCleary helped design and launch the Unite Narcolepsy initiative to educate, engage and empower narcolepsy patients and their advocates to participate effectively in the PFDDI meeting held in 2013. Kim has helped family members navigate challenges associated with mental health conditions and substance abuse and she brings that experience to her work as well. Kim is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael Miller is a Denver-based National Chapter Coordinator for Young People in Recovery (YPR) and in long-term recovery from substance use disorder. After struggling for more than 10 years with the use of heroin and alcohol, several treatment episodes and time spent incarcerated, Michael began his journey of recovery. He left a successful career in tech sales to pursue a path in the field of addiction recovery. He began that career building out a transitional living program for young men with opioid dependency at Carla Vista partnered with Valley Hope and now helps advocate for others struggling with substance use disorders through his work at YPR. Michael also volunteers with several district recovery courts and the Denver Harm Reduction Action Center.
In his advocacy efforts, Michael seeks to raise awareness of the stigma associated with substance use and those in recovery. He has a passion for criminal justice reform based on his experiences in the legal system and has served on the Steering Committee for the 17th Judicial District’s Drug Court.
Gordon Dean is a mental health advocate living in northern Virginia. Gordon’s advocacy on behalf of the community began in 2009 following his youngest daughter’s first mental health crisis. Gordon subsequently left a successful career in the real estate business to become a full-time caregiver and advocate for his daughter and others living with mental health disorders. He is an active member of NAMI/Northern Virginia and Concerned Fairfax, one of NAMI/Northern Virginia’s many advocacy groups. As Gordon’s awareness of the issues facing the treatment of mental health disorders grew, his efforts became increasingly focused on public policy and the justice system. His advocacy work has contributed to improvements in the training of police and corrections officers in Northern Virginia as well as increased awareness and engagement with health care agencies in the county. Gordon has a BA in History from Ohio University.
Sean McAdam retired as superintendent in 2014 after 24 years with the Middlesex Sheriff’s office. As superintendent he was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction in Billerica, MA, a 1500-bed medium security prison. Sean’s focus throughout his career was the development of innovative programs and processes to better serve the inmate population. Sean previously served as the assistant superintendent for program services, overseeing treatment, education, case management and reentry services. Since his retirement, Sean has pursued entrepreneurial endeavors and assisted with the production of Beyond The Wall, a documentary film that follows the re-entry of former prisoners.
Sean has a Bachelor’s degree in Management from Bentley University and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England College. He has attended executive training programs at UMass Boston, Boston University, Harvard and the National institute of Correction in Longmont, CO. Since his retirement, Sean has consulted for the Lookout Foundation, gaining them access into the Juvenile Justice System. His involvement resulted in the awarding of a grant to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Service to support Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.