Dan Fitzgerald, Rhode Island

Meet the new coordinator for the Tobacco Free Rhode Island network!

hero_image_alt_text===Dan Fitzgerald.

The American Heart Association is a proud member of Tobacco Free Rhode Island (TFRI) – a network of organizations and individuals working together to reduce tobacco use in Rhode Island.  We are excited to welcome a new TFRI coordinator – see details below:

TFRI Hires Network Coordinator

With great enthusiasm, Tobacco Free RI would like to announce that after a very long search to find our next Network Coordinator, and many interviews with some incredible individuals, we have finally hired. 

Daniel Fitzgerald has accepted the position as Network Coordinator and will officially begin full-time, on September 5th.  Since he is currently Rhode Island's prevention fellow, he will be honoring that commitment through September so that RI will be eligible to receive future SAMSHA prevention fellows in the future.  He will be working part-time hours (Thursdays and Fridays) in the months of July and August to get situated. 

Dan Fitzgerald has lived in southern Rhode Island his entire life. He graduated from Chariho Regional High School and currently lives in the town of Hopkinton. His educational background is in prevention, social marketing, public health and nonprofit management. He has been working in the field of behavioral health specific to substance use for nearly 10 years. He developed his passion for overall substance use prevention and youth engagement at a very young age. He started a youth based activism organization during his high school years that served the Chariho area. This organization has since rebranded as the Chariho Youth Task Force which mobilizes middle school, high school, and college aged students around four core sectors. Dan believes strongly in the power of youth and knows first hand what a single voice can accomplish. In 2013, the Department of Health recognized Dan for his dedication, initiative, and advocacy in effort to improve the health of Rhode Islanders and end youth tobacco use.

Aside from coordinating a youth task force in his community and serving on the board of directors for several organizations; Dan has been employed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a National Prevention Fellow. He has worked for the State of Rhode Island in their Division of Behavioral Healthcare working within the prevention delivery system for the past 2 years. Additionally, for the past 8 months, Dan has been working with the Truth Initiative as a national Youth Activism Fellow and partners with young leaders across the country to change the culture around tobacco use.

Dan enjoys spending time with family and friends, nature, cooking, and baking. When Dan was 17 years old he won the Martha Stewart Living "Bake the Cake" contest with one of his cupcakes. He then worked at a local cafe as their event baker and baked for weddings for over three years.

While tobacco has had personal effects on loved ones in his life, Dan's passion for this work stems from a desire to ultimately see the first tobacco free generation within his lifetime. At the age of 22, Dan is beyond excited to start his next endeavor with the American Lung Association and has big plans in regards to directing Tobacco Free Rhode Island to continue limiting youth access to tobacco products, strengthening policy, and mobilizing the stakeholders that make up this state-wide network to positively influence the health of all Rhode Islanders.

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