Non-Profit Founder/Journalist Angela Kennecke Receives the South Dakota State Medical Association 2023 Media Award for her Advocacy Work with Emily’s Hope

Sioux Falls, SD – Angela Kennecke, the founder of Emily’s Hope, has been honored with the esteemed 2023 Richard P. Holm MD Media Award by the South Dakota State Medical Association (SDSMA). This recognition is a testament to Angela’s exceptional efforts in combating the deadly drug epidemic and her unwavering commitment to ending the stigma associated with substance use disorder. The award acknowledges her tireless work and significant impact on society.

In her heartfelt acceptance speech, Angela expressed her deep gratitude for the honor bestowed upon her. She said, “It is immensely meaningful to be recognized for the work I have been doing with Emily’s Hope to raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding substance use disorder and fentanyl poisoning deaths. This award not only acknowledges the efforts of our team but also validates the urgency and importance of the cause we are fighting for.”

Angela’s personal journey began with the tragic loss of her daughter, Emily, due to fentanyl poisoning. Driven by this devastating experience, Angela channeled her grief into a resolute determination to prevent other families from enduring the same pain. Emily’s Hope has since become a beacon of light, working tirelessly to raise awareness through education and reduce the stigma surrounding substance use disorder.

Acknowledging the collective effort required to address this crisis, Angela expressed her gratitude to the countless individuals, organizations, and healthcare professionals who have supported Emily’s Hope. She emphasized, “Together, we are making a difference.”

While recognizing the progress made, Angela emphasized that the battle against substance use disorder and the fentanyl crisis is far from over. Lives continue to be shattered, families torn apart, and futures destroyed. Angela called upon society to confront the stigma, challenge misconceptions, and advocate for policies prioritizing access to comprehensive addiction treatment and harm reduction services.

Through the power of media, Angela stressed the potential to drive change and shape public opinion. She thanked the South Dakota State Medical Association for honoring her with the Richard P. Holm MD Media Award, highlighting its significance in amplifying their cause. Angela accepted the award on behalf of all those affected by addiction.

Angela concluded her speech by dedicating the recognition to the memory of Emily and all those who have lost their lives to the overdose epidemic. She reiterated their commitment to making a difference and building a future where no more lives are lost in vain. 

Media Contact:

Anna Fey
Executive Assistant/Marketing Manager
Emily’s Hope

Editor/Producer Note:

Angela Kennecke, CEO and Founder of Emily’s Hope is available for interviews on the overdose crisis. Angela has been featured on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CBS This Morning, NewsNation, and dozens of other national outlets.

Over the last decade, Angela has focused many of her stories on the growing opioid crisis. Tragically, her 21-year-old daughter, Emily, died of a fentanyl overdose. In the wake of this personal loss, Angela has taken Emily’s story nationwide and even internationally. She speaks tirelessly about the issues surrounding opioid addiction, a parent’s frustration, and a sense of helplessness, all from the perspective of a mother who has lost her child.

About Emily’s Hope

Emily’s Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to removing the stigma of substance use disorder through awareness, education, and prevention; and removing financial barriers for treatment and recovery. Founded by Angela Kennecke in memory of her daughter Emily, Emily’s Hope has helped more than 350 people enter recovery and has developed a prevention education curriculum for students K-12.