On April 18th, The Philanthropy Roundtable's director of health programs, Anna Bobb, hosted a call with Diana Spencer, executive director of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, and filmmaker Sarah Holt to discuss how medication-assisted treatment and harm reduction strategies have rescued individuals struggling with addiction. 

The call highlighted Sarah Holt's film "Addiction," which profiles affected individuals and families and reveals the misconceptions around addiction, how it's plaguing communities, and illuminates existing gaps in treatment.

The Roundtable is hosting a series of calls on health in 2019. Contact Anna Bobb at to participate in our next call.



Diana Spencer

SpencerDiana Spencer began her appointment as executive director of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund in May of 2006. Ms. Spencer is the first full-time executive director for the McGowan Fund and has led the family foundation through numerous changes during her tenure. Prior to her role at the McGowan Charitable Fund, she served as the director of external relations at the University of Pittsburgh where she advanced efforts with the public and government in the field of regenerative medicine. She grew up in corporate America, working in sales and new business development for R.R. Donnelley & Sons.


Sarah Holt

HoltSarah Holt is a producer, director, writer, and editor whose work for PBS has covered science, history, and medicine. In pursuit of her stories, she has followed explorers into unknown caves, doctors into the midst of Third World epidemics, and scientists unraveling the secrets of our genetic code. Her newest film, “ADDICTION,” investigates the latest science on how drugs alter the brain, and why experts argue that addiction should be viewed as a treatable brain disorder and not a moral failing. With overdose deaths claiming some 72,000 lives a year, “ADDICTION” explores how we can save lives, from embracing evidence-based treatments and harm reduction, to the rethinking of public policies.



Below are clips of three individual stories from "Addiction."





Access NOVA’s community screening guide:

Watch the “Addiction” trailer:

Learn about the science of addiction, how dopamine’s high and withdrawal create the addictive cycle:

Watch the film, request a free DVD, or access a hub of educational resources, NOVA Next articles, web interactives, and digital videos:

To request access to an audio recording of this call, qualified individuals are invited to email Anna Bobb at


Coming Next

The next call in our health series will take place on Thursday, June 13 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Bob Reid, CEO of the JF Maddox Foundation, and Dr. Kari Wolf of Southern Illinois University will join us to discuss strategies for strengthening the rural workforce. To participate in our next call, contact Anna Bobb at



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