Each year, NAADAC honors the work of addiction professionals, organizations, and public figures who passionately advocate for the addiction profession and the clients we serve. This year, NAADAC presented awards to four outstanding individuals for their extraordinary service and contributions to the addiction profession in 2022. The Honorable Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and The Honorable Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) were awarded the 2022 Legislator of the Year awards, Thomas D. Stuber, MS, MBA, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, was awarded the 2022 Sen. Harold E. Hughes Advocate of the Year, and Tess Reasor, CPRC-Supervisor, CPSS, CYSS, was awarded the 2022 Emerging Leader of the Year award. All of the awardees were presented with their awards during the 2023 Advocacy in Action Conference and Hill Day on March 8-9, 2023.
The 2022 Legislator of the Year Awards were presented to two legislators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to addiction professionals and the clients they serve.
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is a fierce advocate for the addiction workforce. She used her leadership to ensure that substance use disorder (SUD) programs received increased funding last year. She continues to fight for SUD services, especially for those individuals in underserved communities. Congressman DeLauro’s unfailing support for funding for the addiction profession and those it serves has saved countless lives, as have her contributions through the championing and supporting of legislation.
The Honorable Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) is a champion for the addiction community. He is the co-creator and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, which promotes policies to combat the addiction and mental health crises in America. This task force combined the efforts of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force and the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction to advance data-driven policies to end the addiction and mental health crises in America. Congressman Fitzpatrick is a licensed attorney, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Throughout his career, he has fought for improved SUD treatment programs. This includes the recent “Dear Colleague Letter” regarding funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, which is the cornerstone of States’ substance use treatment, prevention, and recovery systems.
The 2022 Sen. Harold E. Hughes Advocate of the Year Award, named after Harold E. Hughes, an Iowa governor, United States senator, and lifelong advocate for treatment, research, and recovery, was presented to NAADAC Public Policy Committee Member Thomas D. Stuber, MS, MBA, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS. Stuber is a caring and talented individual who has made a positive difference in the lives of those who are often misunderstood and ignored in our society. Through his advocacy and leadership, Stuber memorialized changes that not only improved lives but also saved lives. Stuber’s first major advocacy project was in the 1980s. He was a member of the Northern Ohio Chemical Dependency Treatment Directors Association and the steering committee that developed the Cleveland Treatment Criteria, which we now know as the ASAM Criteria. Throughout his decades of service, Stuber has served on committees and advocated before the Ohio state legislature to address the needs of the treatment field and those we serve, including getting telehealth approved as a treatment service in Ohio, expanding access to Naloxone and legalizing the use of fentanyl test strips, and so much more. He has developed relationships with multiple legislators in Ohio and cultivated within those legislators an understanding of the needs of the addiction field and the individuals we serve.
The 2022 Emerging Leader of the Year awardee is Tess Reasor, CPRC-Supervisor, CPSS, CYSS. Reasor is the Executive Director of the newly founded peer support and recovery center, 208 Recovery, serving Northern Idaho, a primarily rural area. She is a compassionate advocate whose aims to eliminate barriers and better assist those experiencing mental health and substance use disorders. Reasor believes that recovery is individualized and there are multiple avenues that one can take to be successful. She recognizes that every person’s recovery journey and story are valuable and worth supporting. Her mission, values, and vision encompass wrap-around services. She utilizes her professional training and experiences as a Peer Support Specialist and supervisor to create a culture of wellness and positivity in North Idaho that supports long-term recovery for those facing behavioral health and substance use disorders through hope, empowerment, and personal strengths. Reasor recently joined the Idaho Association of Addiction Professionals (IAAP), NAADAC’s Idaho affiliate, and is engaged in various boards to best support addiction and mental health professionals state-wide. Reasor exemplifies emerging leadership and supports IAAP and NAADAC to continue providing high-quality treatment for substance use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders, as well as supervision, education, and leadership of peers as part of the continuum of care.
NAADAC celebrates our award recipients and their accomplishments in the field of addiction. We are honored to have such strong and effective advocates to fight for the addiction workforce and the communities we serve. We thank them for their leadership and their profound impact on addiction professionals, the addiction profession, and those it serves.