Ampers and the Steve Rummler Hope Network Create a Unique Partnership to Combat the Opioid Crisis.
Ampers, the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations, and the Steve
Rummler Hope Network are teaming up to fight the opioid crisis. The newly created partnership
will focus on opioid education, prevention, and awareness. The two organizations are
collaborating on a statewide campaign that in part will include peer to peer radio segments
featuring real people sharing their personal experiences and stories of how their lives have
been impacted by opioids. In addition to prevention, the campaign will direct those in need of
help with addiction to geographically and culturally specific resources.
“When Ampers approached us about a possible partnership I looked at the map of
where they have stations and immediately knew the partnership made sense,” Steve Rummler
Hope Network Executive Director Lexi Reed Holtum said. “The Ampers stations reach many of
the highly impacted regions we serve. This partnership gives us the chance to raise public
awareness, not only of the issue but of the commonality of addiction and pervasiveness of
opioids. People should understand that they are not alone. There are people in Minnesota
who’ve been in similar situations. Resources and support are available.”
“The Native American, African American, and rural communities are seeing the highest
number of overdoses,” Ampers’ CEO Joel Glaser said. “Those are the communities that we
serve, and we have an obligation to help. While education and prevention alone can’t put a
stop to the opioid epidemic, it’s a very important part of what needs to be done. We’re
extremely excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Steve Rummler Hope Network
because they are very well respected and have made huge progress statewide and even
nationwide around this issue in a fairly short amount of time. We know that together we can
make an even bigger impact and save even more lives.”
Ampers has a strong history of tackling tough topics through peer to peer segments and
storytelling. The organization recently partnered with the Minnesota Council on Disability to
create “Keep Moving Forward,” a series of 90-second thought-provoking segments where
people with disabilities shared their thoughts and experiences about what it’s like to live with a
disability. A grant from UCare funded “Take Control: Prevent and Manage Diabetes,” a
collaboration between Ampers and the American Diabetes Association. The two worked
together to create a campaign to empower and teach those living with diabetes and prediabetes
steps they can take to prevent or better manage the disease.
“These series are successful because we make sure each segment is informational,
educational, inspirational, motivational, relatable, but we also make sure they are
entertaining,” Glaser explains. “If they aren’t entertaining people won’t listen.” Glaser goes on
to say that funders find these projects appealing because they get the benefit of marketing to
underserved audiences they likely aren’t already reaching, and they get to support a project
that is making a positive impact in these underserved communities.
The Rummler family established the Steve Rummler Hope Network (SRHN) in 2011 after
Steve died of an overdose brought on by the over-prescribing of painkillers Steve was given for
chronic pain. The family established the Network with the goal of helping others who suffer
from chronic pain and the disease of addiction. The mission of the SRHN is to heighten
awareness of the dilemma of chronic pain and the disease of addiction and to improve the
associated care process. The SRHN funds drug overdose prevention, advocacy, and prescriber
Ampers, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities, is an association of 18
independent community radio stations in Minnesota. Each station is locally managed and
programmed by and for the local communities they serve. The stations are all licensed to a
college, school, university, Native American tribe, or directly to the community.
The stations include: WTIP (Grand Marais/Grand Portage/Gunflint Trail), KAXE and KBXE
(Grand Rapids, Bemidji, Brainerd), KSRQ (Thief River Falls), KUMD (Duluth/Superior), KVSC (St.
Cloud), KUMM (Morris), KFAI (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KMOJ (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KUOM
“Radio K” (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KBEM “Jazz88” (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KMSU
(Mankato/Austin), KQAL (Winona), KOJB (Cass Lake/Bena), KBFT (Nett Lake), and KKWE (White
Earth/Callaway), WGZS (Cloquet), and now KRPR (Rochester). Ampers has no affiliation with
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and receives no financial support from MPR.
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