Tom Hedrick, 2016 recipient of the White House Champions of Change for Advancing Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Award, was a founder of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in 1986, the national nonprofit now known as the Partnership to End Addiction.
Over the course the Partnership’s 34-year history, Tom helped build resources and support for parents and caregivers in prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery – including the startup of a caregiver-dedicated national toll-free Helpline staffed by clinicians. Tom’s long range vision was to fortify the Helpline with one-to-one peer support; to build a parent coaching program where a parent could talk directly to another parent who had firsthand experience – someone who had also walked that road.
Under Tom’s guidance, in 2013 the Partnership established a peer support program comprised of parents, grandparents, and other caregivers with lived-experience who became trained in skills of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), Motivational Interviewing, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Bolstering lived-parenting experience with evidence-informed skills, Tom’s vision has become the foundation of the Partnership’s programming evolution for its peer to peer coaching for parenting adults whose children are experiencing substance use challenges. To honor Tom’s pioneering legacy, in 2021 the Partnership formally named its coaching program, the Hedrick Parent Coach Program.
Tom was passionate about serving the families of those affected by addiction and recovery, and worked tirelessly to support them up until his death in September 2020. He generously shared his expertise and kindness throughout his career, yet remained grounded in humility despite the enormous impact he made on the lives of those he helped.
Tom Hedrick’s career-long impact on the lives of families of addiction, and, in turn, their loved ones in recovery, is the living spirit of Faces & Voices of Recovery 2022 In Memoriam Lifetime Achievement Award.