NAADAC Celebrates National Addiction Professional Day by Announcing 2017 Award Winners

Join NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, in taking time on September 20, 2017, to celebrate National Addiction Professionals Day and recognize and celebrate vital players of the health system and continuum of care - addiction professionals.

Started by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals in 1992, the day was established to commemorate the hard work that addiction professionals do on a daily basis. NAADAC is the largest membership organization for addiction-focused healthcare professionals and represents the professional interests of more than 95,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad.

"We welcome everyone to join us on September 20, or hold their own local event, to celebrate the powerful work that addiction services professionals do. As each life is recovered, that helps the whole family and eventually translates into the recovery of a community," said Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, NAADAC Executive Director.

As part of its National Addiction Professionals Day celebration, NAADAC honors its 2017 Award Winners. This year NAADAC will present awards to four outstanding individuals for their extraordinary service and contributions to the addiction profession.

Lora Roe Memorial Addiction Counselor of the Year: Cherylene Tucker, MA, MAC, LCDC, ADC
This award, renamed for Lora Roe in 1988, is presented to a counselor who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of addiction counseling.

This year’s recipient of the Lora Roe Memorial Addiction Counselor of the Year Award, Cherylene Tucker, is a passionate, highly skilled and empathetic community leader with 30 years of experience as an addiction counselor. She specializes in cognitive treatment for substance use disorder, program development, and coaching, and has worked tirelessly to provide treatment and support to individuals in the criminal justice system with substance use disorder.

Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year: Leigh Kolodny-Kraft, LCADC, CSAT, CCTP, SAP, CCGC, ICADC
This award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to the advancement of the addiction counseling profession.

Leigh Kolodny-Kraft, recipient of the Mel Shulstad Professional of the Year, is a compassionate, dedicated, and gifted therapist with unwavering ethics who inspires hope and motivation in her clients. With over a decade of experience, she exudes the utmost professionalism and creativity, utilizing multiple modalities of treatment rather than a one size fits all approach. She specializes in individual, couples and family therapy with a focus on addictions and codependency.

Lifetime Honorary Membership Award: Larry Ashley, EdS, LCADC, CPGC
The Lifetime Honorary Membership Award recognizes an individual who has established outstanding service through a lifetime of consistent contributions to the advancement of NAADAC, the addiction profession and its professionals.

This year’s recipient of the Lifetime Honorary Membership Award is Larry Ashley, a leading international authority on the relationship between addiction and combat trauma. He has been a leader in the substance abuse field for over 40 years as a researcher, therapist, university professor and advocate for those suffering from addiction and trauma. He has been invited to consult with the United States military in Germany and at a Medical Teaching Center in Vietnam, and he has testified before the British House of Commons and the United States Congress. His valuable contribution to the field, particularly by military personnel with substance use disorder, is appreciated.

Addiction Educator of the Year: John D. Massella, EdD, LPC, CAADC, NBCC, CCS-PCB, CCPG
The Addiction Educator of the Year Award is presented to the educator who has made an outstanding contribution to addiction education.

John D. Massella is this year’s recipient of the Addiction Educator of the Year Award. With over 30 years of experience, he has acted as a professor, clinician, advocate, therapist, and clinical supervisor, and lifelong mentor. He is currently is a faculty member at the California University of Pennsylvania, where he is acclaimed by student and peers for teaching by example with thoughtful humor and unabated passion.

These dedicated addiction professionals will be honored during the President’s Awards Luncheon at the 2017 NAADAC Annual Conference taking place on September 22-26, 2017 in Denver, CO. The winners will also be celebrated in the Fall Issue of NAADAC’s magazine, Advances in Addiction and Recovery.

National Addiction Professionals Day is held in September as a part of National Recovery Month. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Recovery Month aims to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recovery. In addition to celebrating National Addiction Professionals Day, NAADAC has celebrated National Recovery Month through the hosting of two webinars on the retention and recruitment of addiction professionals and four regional workforce forums for college students to bring greater awareness of the opportunities available in the addiction profession.

For more information on Recovery Month, please visit www.recoverymonth.gov.
______________________
Media Contact
Kristin Hamilton
khamilton@naadac.org
703.741.7686 x 131

NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 95,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused healthcare professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. An important part of the healthcare continuum, NAADAC members, and its 47 state affiliates work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.
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