UW-River Falls alumnus receives national award for opioid treatment work

December 21, 2016--UW-River Falls alumnus Richard Moldenhauer has been named the 2016 recipient of the National Nyswander/Dole "Marie" Award presented by the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) for his extraordinary service in the opioid treatment community. Moldenhauer was presented the award at the National AATOD Conference in Baltimore, Md., in November.

Moldenhauer has spent 33 years working in the addictions field and has served as the Minnesota State Opioid Treatment Authority for the last 15 years. He received both his BS and MSE from UW-River Falls and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Counseling Program at UW-River Falls.

In addition to presenting at state conferences, Moldenhauer was a participant in the Minnesota Public Broadcasting Service presentation series, "Heroin at Home: Rise of Opiate Use" and "Heroin at Home: Response to Opiate Use." In 2011, he was instrumental in the declaration of a public health emergency on three Indian reservations and the resolution to gain greater tribal acceptance to provide medication-assisted treatment.

In their award announcement, the AATOD praised Moldenhauer's work, saying he is "recognized for his encyclopedic knowledge of regulations, deep commitment to serving patients in need of treatment, and not being afraid to take political risks. He has successfully advocated for patients in Opioid Treatment Programs against burdensome regulation, increased the access for naloxone, and continues to assure accessibility for treatment."

"To be recognized by your peers, friends, and colleagues is an incredible thing," said Moldenhauer.

The Nyswander/Dole "Marie" Award is presented annually by the AATOD. The association describes recipients as "individuals who have shown extraordinary service in the opioid treatment community. These successful award recipients have devoted themselves to improving the lives of patients in our treatment system."

The AATOD has been responsible for awarding this honor since 1984 and all recipients are nominated and selected by their peers.

For more information about the UW-River Falls Counseling Program, call 715-425-3890.

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