PDFNJ Recognizes Dr. Andrew Kolodny at Angel of Hope Gala


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 12, 2019

Contact: Matt Birchenough, 201-916-1032, matt@drugfreenj.org

        Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Recognizes Dr. Andrew Kolodny at Angel of Hope Gala

JERSEY CITY — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) honored Dr. Andrew Kolodny with the Angel of Hope Award for his efforts in the fight against the nationwide opioid epidemic at the Angel of Hope Gala, held Thursday at the Harborside Atrium. 

“Dr. Kolodny has been a tireless advocate for safer prescribing practices, a key aspect in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” said PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente. “His knowledge and passion for this issue have been instrumental in supporting the Partnership’s efforts to prevent opioid abuse in the state.”

More than 400 people attended the tropical-themed event, which raised more than half a million dollars for PDFNJ’s substance use prevention programs.

“The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is grateful for the dedication of the gala sponsors and attendees, whose support has made it possible for residents to receive the free education programs vital to the safety and well-being of New Jersey families and communities,” Valente said.

Dr. Kolodny, one of the nation’s leading experts on the opioid epidemic, is the executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), an organization with a mission to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by overprescribing of opioid analgesics. He is also co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. 

Dr. Kolodny previously served as chief medical officer for Phoenix House, a national nonprofit addiction treatment agency, and chair of psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.

Elaine Pozycki — the most recent recipient of the Angel of Hope Award in 2017 — and her husband, PDFNJ Trustee Steven J. Pozycki, chairman and chief executive officer of SJP Properties, Inc., served as gala chairs. Michael J. DeMarco, chief executive officer of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, served as dinner chair.

Other past Angel of Hope honorees include former governors Jon S. Corzine, James E. McGreevey and Christine Todd Whitman; Alfred Koeppe, former president of Newark Alliance; Dennis Bone, former president of Verizon New Jersey; and State Senator Joseph Vitale.

Since its inception in 1992, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has been the leading statewide organization dedicated to preventing substance abuse by raising awareness and educating the residents of New Jersey through multimedia public service campaigns, as well school- and community-based programs. Since 2010, its campaigns have focused primarily on the opioid epidemic, which has become a public health crisis, claiming an estimated 49,000 lives nationwide in 2017. 


Best known for its statewide substance use prevention advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $100 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception, the Partnership has garnered 174 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.

Pictures from the 2019 Angel of Hope Gala