About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for NOVA's film "Addiction"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
February 27, 2019 

Good evening. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. Welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater for tonight’s screening and discussion of NOVA: Addiction.

We are pleased and honored to present this special program, made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the generous support of UnitedHealth Group, NOVA, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Following the screening, Miles O’Brien, National Science Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, will moderate a panel discussion with Sarah Holt, the producer, director, and writer of Addiction; Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeldm who with his wife Mary Winnefeld, founded Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic (SAFE) Project; Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Corey Waller, principal at Health Management Associates and chairman of the Legislative Advocacy Committee for the American Society of Addiction Medicine; and Martha R. Temple, CEO of Optum Behavioral Health. 

Before we begin, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up soon in the McGowan Theater.

Tomorrow night, we will present a discussion related to the recent book, Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French, by Abraham Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Holzer will be joined by Howard University Professor of History Edna Greene Medford to discuss explore the life of French, the artist who created the statue for the Lincoln Memorial.

On Tuesday, March 5, at noon, Dr. Jeremy Brown, Director of Emergency Care Research at the National Institutes of Health, will discuss and sign his book Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History.

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Visit its website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about the Foundation and join online.

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Tonight’s film examines how easy access to drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and even prescription medications like OxyContin has fueled an epidemic of addiction—the deadliest in U.S. history.

However, as the records of the National Archives show, this is not an just issue for our own time. Within our holdings are the records of the Narcotics Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which was established in 1914; a 1952 letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Oveta Culp Hobby, the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on the problem of drug addiction; and Records of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, which was established in 1973 within Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

The harm of addiction spirals out from the individual to the family to society at large. In tonight’s film and discussion, we will hear firsthand from individuals struggling with addiction and follow the cutting-edge work of doctors and scientists as they investigate why addiction is not a moral failing, but a chronic, treatable medical condition.

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And now I will turn the program over to Maja Mrkoci, who is the Chief Content and Innovation Officer at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In this role, she works closely with public media’s national organizations, local stations, and independent content producers to accelerate cultural transformation, innovation, and content creation throughout the public media system. She leads the development and implementation of CPB’s strategy for investing in innovative, creative, and diverse programming and content and leads digital, innovation, and technology initiatives within CPB to increase public media’s reach and sustainability for the future. Before joining CPB, Mrkoci worked at PBS, where, as Director of Business Development, she established partnerships for PBS’s digital ventures with companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Comcast, Verizon and more.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Maja Mrkoci.