The Davida Coady Gorham Medical Professional of the Year Award is presented to a medical professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the addiction profession. The award was renamed in 2019 to honor the late Dr. Davida Coady Gorham in recognition of her contributions to addiction profession. Any NAADAC member in good standing may nominate an individual for this award, which is selected by the NAADAC Awards Committee.

Any NAADAC member in good standing may nominate an individual for this award, which is selected by the NAADAC Awards Committee. Current members of the NAADAC Executive Committee are ineligible for this award.

Who Was Davida Coady Gorham?

Dr. Coady Gorham devoted her life to doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people and serving those who needed it the most. She was both a physician and an activist, and believed, as she wrote in her memoir, that, “[i]f you’re a doctor, you’re every kind of doctor.”

Dr. Coady Gorham completed medical school at Columbia University and though she trained as a pediatrician, her experiences abroad led to a commitment in public health and international health. She spent decades linking hands-on medical care with public health and being a first responder to humanitarian crises in Biafra, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Central America. Dr. Coady Gorham served as Medical Director for the Peace Corps, and while in India, she worked with Mother Teresa, who invited her to become her medical director — and a nun. Dr. Coady Gorham considered both options, but decided her long-term future lay elsewhere.

By the mid-90s, Dr. Coady Gorham was working as an Emergency Room pediatrician at Oakland’s Children’s Hospital. She treated many abused children and observed that she never saw a physically abused child where alcohol or drugs were not involved. This realization led her to begin her transition to working in the addiction profession. Dr. Coady Gorham worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for the Berkeley Mental Health Department and in 1997, she founded Options Recovery Services (Options). Options began as a diversion treatment program for the Berkeley Court, but grew to offer a variety of evidence-based treatment, including sober living opportunities, that has helped more than 10,000 people get sober. Options expanded its work to the California prison system in 2006, preparing several hundred inmates over the years to become state-certified addiction treatment counselors through the Offender Mentor Program.

Dr. Coady Gorham passed away peacefully on May 3, 2018, about three weeks after her 80th birthday, in Alamo, CA, in the company of her loved ones, including her husband, Tom Gorham.

Dr. Coady Gorham will be remembered as a force for good and for her vision of reaching out to the poor and imprisoned in finding the path to life-affirming sobriety and service, and NAADAC is honored to recognize her service.

Eligibility Information

To be given this award, the nominee must:

  1. be actively working as an addiction professional for a minimum of three years prior to receiving this award;
  2. hold licensure as a Medical Doctor, Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Clinical Pharmacist, or Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse in their respective state;
  3. be working with clients/patients for a sustained period with individual or group contact that fosters recovery from addiction disorders; and
  4. be an active NAADAC member in good standing (i.e., the individual must be a voting member as opposed to an honorary member);
  5. have demonstrated to the satisfaction of one's peers full compliance and support of NAADAC's Code of Ethics.
Download Award Nomination Form
Nomination Requirements

To nominate an addiction professional for this award, please submit:

  1. a letter of nomination explaining how the nominee fulfills the eligibility requirements and the spirit of the award;
  2. at least three letters of support from three different sources (e.g., individuals, organizations or agencies) (Please note that these three letters must be from sources other than the nominator.);
  3. the nominee’s resume; and
  4. a completed Award Nomination Form.

Submissions may be sent by email to naadac@naadac.org (preferred) or by mail to: 

NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
ATTN: Awards Committee Chair
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 301
Alexandria, VA 22314

Deadline: All award nominations much be received by July 31, 2021 for consideration. 

Please note that award winners will be asked to submit a short video acknowledging their award for use by NAADAC on the NAADAC website, social media accounts, and other marketing materials. The award will be sent to an address provided by the awardee. 


Questions?

For additional information, please contact NAADAC Director of Membership and Affiliates David Semanco, MS, MAC, CAADC, CSAC, CAC-AD, at dsemanco@naadac.org or 703.741.7686 x102.


Past Award Recipients

2020 Kevin Leyden, BSN, RN, CARN (Ridgefield Park, NJ)
2018 Davida Coady Gorham, MD, PhD (posthumously)
2016 Phyllis Prekopa, PsyD, BSN, CARN-AP, LCADC (Hewitt, NJ)
2008 William F. Cote, APRN, LADC, MAC (Lyndon Center, VT)
2006 Dr. Robert Harmon (Denver, CO)