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THERE

IS

HOPE

CHRISTINE ORTOLL CHARITY

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Founded in memory of
my daughter who battled substance use disorder for 10 years.

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OUR MISSION

We are committed to creating media about mental health issues and substance use disorder, that is both educational and inspiring, so our audience can feel empowered to take control of their lives, find the support they need and move forward with hope.

Our Story
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OUR STORY

Founded by Michael Ortoll in 2021, his daughter, Christine, battled substance use disorder and mental health issues for ten years. During this time Michael and his family left no stone unturned as they fought alongside Christine, turning to over 20 recovery centers and countless experts for help along the way.

She achieved sobriety for nearly three years, until her final relapse and resulting death via fentanyl overdose. It was Christine’s wish in her own words:

“I do not want to be defined by my disease but remembered for helping those with it”.

Our Vison
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OUR VISION

To transform the lives of those affected by mental illness and substance abuse so they can seek recovery and thrive.

Initiatives
OUR INITIATIVES

A documentary film, called “ONE SECOND at a TIME” (OSSAT) which shares Christine Ortoll's struggle for recovery, told from her own journals and by those who supported her, including family, close friends, and professionals. This production will make a difference in helping those who suffer from substance abuse, mental illness, and their loved ones. 

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INITIATIVES
1. SECONDARY SCHOOLS

In SECONDARY SCHOOLS (higher education) our goal is to have boosters & alumni help fund College Recovery Programs (CRPs) at their schools. CRPs support students interested in recovery from substance misuse so they can thrive during their college experience. Students learn beneficial coping skills in an accountable recovery community where they can develop friendships with like-minded peers.

 

Last year I supported the growth of an innovative College Recovery Program called LIFT at my alma mater, Florida State University. Over 18 months we went from a hand full to over 1,100 student engagements.

 

Per the latest CASA study, 24% of all college students meet the medical definition of substance use disorder, yet less than 5% of all colleges have a recovery program and most of them suffer from little participation due to the stigma of addiction, lack of dedicated space & quality resources.

CRPs keep students connected, and the data proves students thrive; as they stay in school, graduate with a higher GPA and they become more service-oriented alumni.

Our second initiative is our mini documentary, called “Safety Net: Helping College Students in Recovery Thrive” so we can allow our future leaders to achieve their dreams and make this world a better place. 

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2. PRIMARY SCHOOLS

In PRIMARY SCHOOLS (elementary) we need to better inform parents, teachers, and pediatricians, on the causes of childhood trauma, so we can help prevent chronic diseases, such as addiction and raise children which are emotionally, mentally and physically healthy.

 

Adverse Childhood Experiences are traumatic events that occur during childhood. They have lasting, negative effects on health, well-being, and opportunity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood.”

 

The problem is most people are unaware of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how they lead to toxic stress and lifelong problems with wellness, and learning.

 

Over 2/3 of all children in the US are affected by ACEs and 1 out of 8 adults has 4 or more ACEs. This issue is embedded in our society and unfortunately worsening.  As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for negative health outcomes, both physical and psychological.

Our aim is to educate parents, teachers and children so we can deal with these in a healthy way early, since the leading two are divorce and economic hardship which impact over half of all children in the US.

A PERSON WITH 4
OR MORE ACE's IS

2.4x

More likely to have a stroke.

1.9x

More likely to have cancer.

12x

More likely to attempt suicide.

7x

More likely to be an alcoholic.

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3. REFORMING ADDICTION TREATMENT

Substance abuse is a major public health crisis in the United States as its economic burden is greater than $ 1.5 Trillion annual per JEC report. More than 23 million battle the disease of addiction, yet only 1 in 10 who need it receive effective treatment, due to: the high cost, stigma (self, public and within recovery community), and lack of access. In contrast to other chronic diseases, funding for addiction treatment disproportionately comes from government sources. Private insurance only covers appx 10% of costs.

Reforming addiction treatment is the most effective way to address the problem. We must increase affordability, and access to quality, evidence-based treatment programs such as Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT), counseling, therapy, and support networks, including in rural areas which lack crucial resources.

We need to increase harm reduction on services, such as naloxone, syringe services programs and fentanyl test strips to save lives. It is also important to provide access to housing and employment assistance, as well as other social services to those who suffer from substance abuse and mental illness.

It is key we focus on prevention and early intervention strategies since our current healthcare model focuses mainly on treatment.

 

Prevention efforts can include education and outreach programs that provide information on the risks of drug use and how to access help if someone is struggling with an addiction.

 

Early intervention strategies should make all medical visits screen for substance use disorder, so we can quickly connect those in need of treatment services with appropriate resources or referrals for treatment. In addition, all treatment should be customized for individual needs and include coordinated care for other illnesses, such as mental or physical disorders.

 

Addiction treatment reform is a multifaceted and demanding process. To successfully improve the current landscape of addiction care, there are many stakeholders who need to be involved.

 

The stakeholders include educators, parents, healthcare providers, government agencies, businesses, and advocacy groups such as non-profits.

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Facts

FACTS

Drug Overdose
is the
Leading Cause of Death

for
18
to 45
Year Olds.

Synthetic opiods, like fentanyl, now count for 2/3 of all overdose fatalities.

* Source: NIDA

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1 of 2

People know

someone who suffers from substance use disorder.

23 million Americans suffer from substance use disorder (SUD), yet less than 10% of them receive help due to its stigma, cost, and finding appropriate treatment for their disease.

Per research, each one of them affects an average of 7 family members and close friends, which means that one of every two of us knows someone who suffers from SUD.

*Source: SAMHSA & PEW GROUP

60%

Of all pills confiscated by the DEA in 2022 had a lethal dose of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Fentanyl is now in all drugs and 50 times stronger than heroin & 100 times more powerful than morphine. Its newer versions are more fatal.

* Source: DEA

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Doctors and nurse practitioners receive appropriate addiction education. We need better training, beginning with pediatricians so we can treat mental health issues early.

*Source: AMA 

1 in 4

Of all addictions start in adolescence. Teens who learn the risks of drugs from parents are 50% less likely to use drugs..

*Source: SAMHSA & NIH

90%

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 MANY TEENS & YOUNG ADULTS

Buy drugs online via social media apps.

*Source: DEA & NIH

Memories
Christine Ortoll Memories
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Board
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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Michael Ortoll

Mike is a seasoned insurance professional with 37 plus years’ experience.  He began his insurance career with Liberty Mutual as a claims adjuster and ended as their leading national sales executive.

 

After leaving Liberty Mutual in 1992, Michael became a principal at Davis Baldwin Insurance based in Tampa, Florida, a regional insurance boutique which sold to Wachovia Insurance Services in 2000. 

 

In late 2005 Michael started iLeader Solutions, which specialized in providing risk management and co-employment solutions to various industries. Michael sold to Wells Fargo Insurance Services in 2009 and retired for three years after 2012.

 

In 2015, Michael reunited with prior principals and joined BKS Partners as a  partner. Their holding company, BRP Group went public in 2019 and he oversees advisory for some of their largest clients.

He also is the CEO of iPEO Solutions, a provider of co-employment solutions for large distressed companies and fast growing firms.

 

In 2021, Michael founded a charity in honor of his daughter, Christine, who battled opioid use disorder for ten years and passed from a fentanyl overdose in late 2020. The charity is committed to creating media about mental health issues & substance abuse, to transform the lives of those affected so they can seek recovery and thrive.

The charity has produced a documentary film called ‘One Second at A Time’ to bring greater awareness, education, and inspiration to all those affected by the disease of addiction & mental illness.

 

Michael is a Florida State University (FSU) graduate and contributed in several ways to his alma mater’s College Recovery Program (CRP). The Christine Ortoll Charity has produced a mini documentary called “Safety Net: Helping College Students in Recovery Thrive”, so colleges can be informed on why CRPs are beneficial to all stakeholders.

Additionally, the charity has produced powerful inspirational stories of redemption to provide hope.

 

Furthermore, the charity will continue to produce media to prevent early substance use in elementary schools & reforming the current addiction treatment landscape.

He is a Miami native with strong ties to the Cuban/Hispanic community as well as an active speaker in the insurance industry.

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Robin Piper

Robin Piper Lutz has been the Chief Executive Officer and Clinical Director of Turning Point of Tampa for the past 25 years and prior to that was responsible for developing and implementing two nationally known programs for addiction and eating disorders.  

She received her Bachelor’s from The Ohio State University, a Master Degree in Administration from Springfield College and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University.  

 

Robin is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master Certified Addiction Professional in Florida is also a National Certified Counselor, as well as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.  

She has served on an Addiction Advisory Board for The Joint Commission, has been featured in the Tampa Bay Medical News and is a contributing author for the first textbook on Food Addiction, Processed Food Addiction.  

Robin currently serves on the Board of Director for the National Association of Addiction Treatment providers and is Chairperson of the Public Policy Committee

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Jorge Valiente

Jorge Valiente CPA/PFS CFP is the President and Managing Director of Bella Hermida Valiente, a general practice of accounting, management, and consulting, providing a full range of professional services since 1994. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Jorge has over forty-three years of experience in the profession. He was a senior management consultant with the international accounting firm of Deloitte (formerly, Deloitte Haskins + Sells) in the Emerging Business Service Group, providing accounting, auditing, tax and management consulting services to entrepreneurs and emerging companies. Jorge was the chief financial officer and Director of Finance for a very successful group of privately held companies here in the United States and overseas.

 

He currently serves in various non-profit organization boards in the Tampa Bay Area Communities and the State of Florida. He is a member in good standing with The American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).

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Laureen Jacobe

Laureen Jacobe was born in Ohio and raised there until she graduated from the University of Akron with a nursing undergraduate degree in 1996. She has worked as a nurse for most of her 27-year career in the intensive care unit. Laureen obtained her Master of Science in Nursing from Walden University and works as an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Tampa.

She is also the proud mother of two daughters, one of whom is a nurse with a degree from the University of Oklahoma and works in Dallas in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit. The other is a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in social work.

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Tim Searfoss

Tim Searfoss is an international award winning director/producer/writer with a passion for storytelling and inspiring audiences.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela Tim and his family emigrated when he was 7 years old to the United States. 

With over 20 years of experience in the industry his films and productions have earned international recognition and more importantly have helped inspire many all across the globe. He has a passion for telling stories that help change lives.

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Donate

The Christine Ortoll Charity is committed to creating media about mental health issues and substance use disorder, that is both educational and inspiring, so the audience can feel empowered to take control of their own lives, find the support they need, and move forward with hope.

Donors
DONORS

MIKE ORTOLL FAMILY

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