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Over the past 20 years people across the U.S. have watched the rapidly escalating opioid crisis destroy families and entire communities. Your donation can help us change this.

Our Mission

We strive to improve health outcomes and save lives by bringing together researchers and technologists to find innovative and effective solutions to address large-scale public health challenges.
The U.S. is facing many health problems. With advancement in treatment and cures taking 80% of the global health budget, and prevention only receiving 20%, a crisis has emerged. Preventable diseases and injuries are now costing governments and communities more than just money – they are taking lives too early and too often. The Preventum Initiative will focus on public health challenges as it moves forward; however, for the foreseeable future we will focus on America’s biggest health challenge…the opioid crisis.


  • In 2015, 11.8 million Americans aged 12 years and older reported misusing opioids: 11.5 million misused prescription pain relievers and 948,000 used heroin.
  • The amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. in 2015 was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks!
  • More than 1000 people per day are treated in emergency departments for misusing opioids
  • 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids
  • Every 25 minutes a baby is born addicted to opioids in the U.S.
  • The CDC estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is more than $78 billion a year.

At the Preventum Initiative, we recognize that as a community we cannot spend our way out of preventable problems like the opioid epidemic by just providing funding for treatment. Effective evidence-based prevention strategies also need to be provided to the community. At the Preventum Initiative we have developed four key areas of focus that provide both prevention and addiction solutions.

Adolescent and Youth Prevention

Since 2014, the nonmedical use of prescription-type opioids among youth and adolescents has increase significantly, and so too have teen drug overdose deaths. The CDC reports that in 2015, 65% of drug overdose deaths among 15 to 19-years olds were from prescription painkillers (opioids), and 80% were accidental overdoses. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, close to half of young people who have injected heroin said they had abused prescription painkillers before they started using heroin. The Preventum Initiative is working with Preventum and other partners to develop effective, tailored education campaigns aimed at youth and adolescents.

Treatment Engagement
Opioid addicts have a relapse rate between 40%-60%. The Preventum Initiative and its team of behavioural scientists are working to develop new ways to engage addicts in their treatment protocol. Strategies based on contingency management use machine learning and gamification to keep addicts attending and engaged in their treatment.

Donations are welcome

Over the past 20 years people across the U.S. have watched the rapidly escalating opioid crisis destroy families and entire communities. Your gift can help us change this.


Data from 12-month period ending June 2017 Source: CDC, 2017 


Source: National Safety Council, Prescription Nation 2016

Families and communities across the US are coping with the health, economic and emotional effects of the opioid epidemic. A donation to the Preventum Initiative funds world-class research to prevent opioid drug overdoses, babies born addicted to opioids, children ending up orphaned or in foster care due to parents addicted to opioids, and teen opioid overdose rates. Your gift will fund research into the prevention of complex health challenges, such as injuries, diabetes, obesity, asthma, COPD, heart disease. Donate now.

A couple of years ago, the three of us set out to do something totally different, to build the world’s first digital public health platform, In October 2017, we launched Preventum which brought together world-best technology and evidence-based research to address major public health needs such as injuries, obesity, and the opioid crisis. The Preventum Initiative, a standalone non-profit, is the culmination of our original vision


Dr. Jacqueline Burgess

Dr. Jacqueline Burgess

Executive Director

Jacquii has a diverse background that includes qualifications in nursing, marketing, journalism, and public health. After repeatedly treating preventable diseases and injuries as a nurse, she changed her career 15 years ago to focus instead on disease and injury prevention, and health promotion. Jacquii created To Good Health, a health magazine published in Australia and the US, aimed at disseminating the latest evidence-based research in a simplified and succinct format for the general public. She was also the editor-in-chief of Sixty Second Parent Magazine in the US and Australia.

Jacquii’s post-graduate degree in public health focused on smoking cessation in teenage girls. In 2017, Jacquii completed her PhD in childhood injury prevention at the University of Queensland, Australia. In part, this research investigated the use of smartphone applications and gamification techniques to engage and educate parents about childhood burn prevention and correct burn first aid. Her primary research has now been adopted by the Australian government and rolled out as a national burns prevention campaign – Cool Runnings – the world’s first large-scale public health information campaign on a mobile device. Jacquii is widely published and has presented her research on injury prevention internationally. Jacquii is passionate about combining technology and communication with evidence-based research to deliver effective public health solutions.

Dr. Olson Huff, MD, DoSc, FAAP

Dr. Olson Huff, MD, DoSc, FAAP

Medical Advisor

Olson Huff is a pediatrician, child advocate, founder of the Olson Huff Center for Child Development and the Founding Medical Director of Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

He was instrumental in the development of health care resources, such as the “toothbus”, that provides care for underserved children in rural western North Carolina.

He is a past president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is past chair of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Partnership for Children as well as the past chair of the Committee on Federal Government Affairs of the AAP.

He is a veteran of the USAF, a graduate of the University of Kentucky ,received his medical degree from the University of Louisville, internship at Wilford Hall USAF Hospital, pediatric residency at Charlotte Memorial Hospital and fellowship in Child Development at UNC at Chapel Hill.

He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, a jogger and an avid reader of U.S. History.

He and his wife of 53 years, Marylyn, live in Black Mountain, NC, and have three sons and four growing grandchildren.

Dr. Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH

Dr. Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH

Public Health Advisor

Dr. Devlin has more than 30 years in public health practice in North Carolina including 10 years as the Wake County Health Director and 10 years as the State Health Director for North Carolina. She is a board member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control Foundation, the UNC Board of Visitors, the Gillings School of Global Public Health Advisory Council, Trustee of Campbell University, NC Medical Society Foundation Board, NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs and other statewide boards. In addition, she serves as a Consultant for Research Triangle Institute, International.

These are the facts of the opioid epidemic

One American dies every 10 minutes from an opioid-related overdose

Every 25 minutes a baby is born addicted to opioids in the U.S.

$80 billion per year, cost of opioid abuse to U.S. economy

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