High-Powered Nonprofit Aims to Raise $50 Million to Combat Opioid Abuse

Its board includes reps from GE, Blue Cross, Partners HealthCare, and BMC.


Heroin photo via istock.com/sdominick

A high-powered nonprofit trying to combat opioid abuse has already collected $13 million in funding commitments. But that’s just a drop in the bucket for RIZE Massachusetts—the group is aiming to raise $50 million over the next three years.

RIZE, which held its first meeting Tuesday, will use the money to fund new strategies for fighting substance abuse, with a special focus on evidence-based approaches that treat addiction like the medical condition it is.

The organization’s board includes representatives from the GE Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Partners HealthCare, Boston Medical Center (BMC), and more. The group is currently looking for an executive director.

“For too long, medicine has failed to treat addiction as the chronic disease that it is,” Partners HealthCare President and CEO David Torchiana, who is also a RIZE board member, told State House News Service. “This effort holds promise because it is focused on the ongoing process of recovery. It is the only approach that will defeat this epidemic.”

Board representative GE independently committed $15 million to fight the opioid epidemic, while fellow representative BMC just opened a brand new addiction medicine center, thanks to a $25 million gift.