Barbara Foley, R.N., Executive Director and Co-Founder of Emergency Nurses CARE (EN CARE) of Alexandria, Virginia, today was named the fourth recipient of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s annual Senator Harold Hughes Memorial Award. The award is made annually to a nonresearcher who has used alcohol research findings to foster research, prevention, or treatment, thereby translating research into practice and building bridges among the research, prevention, treatment, and policymaking communities. NIAAA Acting Director, Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., announced the award today in Washington, D.C., at the 2002 Public Policy Conference on Alcohol and Drug Treatment, sponsored by NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals and co-hosted by 23 national organizations.

The Senator Harold Hughes Memorial Award honors the memory of former U.S. Senator and Iowa Governor Harold Hughes. Senator Hughes was the force behind the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention Act of 1970 that established the NIAAA. He remained active in the alcohol field until his death in 1996.

"For over eighteen years, Ms. Foley has worked to build bridges among the various components of the alcohol field to improve the future for persons with alcohol problems. From her earliest prevention activities, she recognized the power of research-based information to shape and support that work," said Dr. Kington in announcing the winner. Ms. Foley was chosen from a field of prevention professionals, policymakers and advocates nominated by national, state, and local alcohol field organizations.

Ms. Foley has delivered research knowledge to health care providers, parents, and youth for most of her career. While working at a Level I Trauma Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, she and coworker Pamela Bell, R.N., in 1981 created an educational program to help reduce the drinking and driving injuries and fatalities among young people that daily confronted their center. Ms. Foley used National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data to design a slide presentation for local high school students and parents on the dangers of underage alcohol use, binge drinking, and drinking and driving. The FARS research confirmed what Ms. Foley and her colleagues had seen firsthand: Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of death for American teenagers.

This grassroots effort has since expanded into a nationwide nonprofit organization that trains other nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and paramedics. The original program for teens has expanded to four programs that reach elementary students, teens, parents, and older Americans. Today, EN CARE has 500 chapters in 49 states and disseminates research-based prevention messages to approximately 300,000 youth and 150,000 older adults annually.

Following her 1990 appointment as EN CARE Executive Director, Ms. Foley continued to work closely with NHTSA and other agencies to ensure that current research was available to and used by the practitioners who provided EN CARE programs, an effort that she continued as a NHTSA contractor from 1995-1999. In addition, Ms. Foley worked with Massachusetts legislators to promote .08 blood alcohol content legislation and per se laws and was the first nurse to work with the Massachusetts Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau. She continues to work at the national level in support of drinking-driving legislation and is a frequent media resource on related subjects.

In 1985, EN CARE was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, now representing more than 6,000 trained health care professionals (registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics) who volunteer time to educate their communities about the dangers of underage alcohol use, drinking and driving, and safety belt noncompliance. In September 1995, EN CARE became an affiliate of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and in 1999 became the ENA’s Injury Prevention Institute.

Ms. Foley has received numerous awards including the University of Massachusetts Medical Center Award for Excellence in Nursing, the Manuel Carballo (Massachusetts) Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service, the Emergency Nurses Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Commission Against Drunk Driving Distinguished Service Award. Most recently, she was inducted into the Emergency Nurses Association’s Hall of Fame for her work in injury prevention.

To request an interview with Ms. Foley or Dr. Kington, please telephone the NIAAA Press Office. For additional information about the Hughes Award, please visit http://www.rowsciences.com/haroldhughes. For additional information about alcohol research, visit http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/.