The Peter G. Dodge Foundation (PGDF) is dedicated to transforming treatment for alcohol addiction through greater options, awareness, and access.
As a young entrepreneur, PGDF founder Peter Dodge struggled with alcohol addiction and the chaos it caused in his life. After trying clinical treatment and participating in 12-step groups, he found that, despite his best efforts, he was still struggling. He began to seek other methods to get and stay sober. A researcher by trade, he was astonished by how difficult it was to find information about treatment for alcohol addiction beyond mainstream methods. Over years of trial and error, he put together a toolkit that included medication, coaching, exercise, meditation, and diet. This multi-pronged approach first reduced harm from his drinking, then allowed him to remain abstinent.
Meanwhile, the business he founded, the Washington D.C.-based information services firm Hanover Research, became more and more successful, and he began to be interested in escalating and formalizing his philanthropic efforts. He was increasingly drawn to the question of how to expand treatment options and to make those options widely available to those who suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD). He committed a large portion of his income each year to a philanthropic organization that, shaped by Executive Director Elizabeth Cairns, would become the Peter G. Dodge Foundation.
Fortuitously, PGDF began at the cusp of a revolution in the field. Although much work remained to be done, some addiction specialists began using evidence-based interventions such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and others, and advocacy groups made progress on public policy affecting those with substance use disorders. Outside of the treatment field, however, public awareness and mainstream treatment of AUD often remained mired in inertia and misinformation.
The Mission Grant program, the cornerstone of PGDF’s grantmaking, evolved as a vehicle for strategically pushing forward the most promising developments in AUD treatment. With the goal of increasing options, elevating awareness, and facilitating access, PGDF works to advance the treatment of alcohol use disorder.
To date, Mission Grant initiatives have included: a conference for primary care providers on best practices in addiction medicine, a national summit for leaders in the field on how meditation could become part of a successful treatment protocol, scientific research on the role of gut microbiota in AUD, a wellness program for men enrolled in a residential aftercare facility, a counseling program referring people to individualized treatment, and more.
Now in its fourth year, PGDF has established a reputation as a capable, forward-thinking organization that works with world-class partners to achieve lasting change. By increasing treatment options and making those options more widely available, PGDF helps to create a new paradigm for what treatment and recovery can be.
“The Peter G. Dodge Foundation is intended to be a driving force for improving the lives of people with alcohol use disorder. AUD creates incalculable amounts of human misery and economic expense, yet despite the enormity of the problem, diagnosis and treatment can be haphazard and largely ineffective. We are working to change that by funding research for new treatments, sharing information, and supporting programs and organizations that are making a difference.”
-Peter G. Dodge