SOURCE: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

February 25, 2008 10:56 ET

U.S. Congressman Jim Ramstad Elected to CASA* Board of Directors

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 25, 2008) - The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University announced today that United States Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) has been elected to its board of directors.

Congressman Ramstad serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee where he sits on the Health Subcommittee and Oversight Subcommittee. He also co-chairs the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, as well as the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Law Enforcement Caucus and Medical Technology Caucus.

"We are honored to have Congressman Ramstad join our board of directors," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. "He is an outstanding and tenacious leader in the effort to obtain parity in health insurance reimbursement for substance abuse and mental health. With Representative Ramstad's support we hope to begin a cultural change potent enough to prompt a revolution in the way our government addresses substance abuse and addiction."

"I look forward to working with such a distinguished group of individuals on the CASA board to end the discrimination against people with addiction," said Congressman Ramstad. "This is not just another public policy issue. This is a life-or-death issue for millions of Americans and CASA is the premiere think tank in the field."

Prior to his election to Congress, he served three terms in the Minnesota Senate, where he was Assistant Minority Leader.

Congressman Ramstad is the 1998 recipient of the "Fullbright Distinguished Public Service Award." He was also named "Legislator of the Year" in 1998 by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors, in 1999 by the National Mental Health Association and in 1997 and 2000 by the National Association of Police Organizations.

In 2005, Congressman Ramstad was named "Leading Light for Seniors" by the American Health Care Association, and in 2006 he received the "Disabilities Rights Award" from the American Association of People with Disabilities.

CASA is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA has issued 66 reports and white papers, published one book, conducted demonstration projects focused on children, families and schools at 218 sites in 81 cities and counties in 31 states plus Washington, DC and two Native American tribal reservations, and has been evaluating the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment in a variety of programs and drug courts. CASA is the creator of the nationwide initiative "Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™" -- the fourth Monday in September -- the 22nd in 2008 -- that promotes parental engagement as a simple and effective way to reduce children's risk of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. In May of 2007, CASA Chairman Joseph A. Califano, Jr., called for a fundamental shift in the nation's attitude about substance abuse and addiction with the publication of his book, "HIGH SOCIETY: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It." For more information: www.casacolumbia.org.

*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as "CASA") or any of its member organizations, or any other organizations with the name of "CASA."

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