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ADM Board Honors Four Trailblazers at Appreciation Luncheon
10/21/2009

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ADM Board Honors Four Trailblazers at Appreciation Luncheon

In 2007, the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADM) Services Board established awards in honor of five individuals who are recognized as being trailblazers and advocates in the mental health and addiction services field. This award process is intended not only to honor the original honorees which included Drs. Fred and Penny Frese, Maggie Carroll Smith, Sr. Mary Ignatia and Dr. Bob Smith, but also to provide a forum to recognize individuals who emulate their example and service.

Maggie Carroll Smith Award
Maggie Carroll Smith was the Founding President of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Summit County. She was admired for being a tireless advocate on behalf of those who have a mental illness and their families and worked to make the mental health system more responsive and accountable. Individuals nominated for this award will have demonstrated a passion for people in recovery and have served as a change agent focused on results.

2009 Maggie Carroll Smith Award recipient: The Honorable Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio
When Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio assumed the bench of the Summit County Juvenile Court, she immediately made the concerns of youth suffering from mental illness a priority in our community. She discovered research that indicated that 80% of mental illness and substance abuse/dependency were tied to the other and sought to develop a program that would treat mental illness and substance abuse issues as co-occurring disorders. Judge Teodosio impaneled a Task Force of dozens of child-serving agencies in the county to participate and create a referral network. The result transformed the former drug court into a specialty docket called The Crossroads Program to eliminate any stigma that might be attached to a youth’s participation.

The Crossroads Program has become a nationwide model not only for the innovative treatment of youth with mental illness involved in the juvenile justice system, but as an example of how community collaboration can result in innovative programming without the use of grants or other special funding. Judge Teodosio has been invited to present the unique dynamics of Crossroads Programs across the country. Crossroads was recognized as The Program of the Year in by the Summit County Mental Health Association and it has received The Friend of the Family Award from the Ohio Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Drs. Fred and Penny Frese Award
The Dr.’s Fred and Penny Frese award recognized their efforts to continue to make a real difference in breaking down barriers against the stigma of mental illness through their ongoing education and advocacy. Individuals nominated for this award will have helped to educate others and decrease the stigma that affects those with mental illness and addiction.

2009 Drs. Fred and Penny Frese Award recipient: Barbara Medlock R.N.
Fifteen years ago, Barbara Medlock, R.N. agreed to become the Coordinator of the SUPPORT Hotline, operated by Portage Path Behavioral Health. Since that time she has managed a volunteer and professional corps who has kept the hotline operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for people who need help when they experience emotionally upsetting issues. Although the training program has followed the same format over the years, Barb has done a lot to incorporate the best research and practices into the hotline. She looks at hotline service as a way to send committed mental health advocates back to their community.

In 2005 the hotline became a part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network after having their practices and operations thoroughly examined. That same year, Barb became the co-facilitator of the Summit County Suicide Prevention Coalition, a program supported by the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, and sanctioned by the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. Barb has worked hard to see that program expand and continues to assure our community that help is available when it is needed


Sister Mary Ignatia Award
Sister Mary Ignatia, also known as the Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous, was a pioneer in hospital-based treatment for alcoholism and admired for her insight in recognizing alcoholism as a disease. Her belief in the human spirit and quiet compassion benefited countless people.
Individuals nominated for this award are known for their compassion, have not sought the spotlight, but will have made contributions “behind-the scenes”.

2009 Sister Mary Ignatia Award recipient: Georgette Kistner, R.N.
Georgette Kistner, R.N. is regarded as a skilled and caring nurse and is described by co-workers as the caring and compassionate mainstay of Ignatia Hall. Ms. Kistner provides training to medical nurses regarding the care of detox patients, helping them gain skill in assessing and treating these individuals. She leads by example and continues to assure that educational materials, AA speakers, and extensive case management facilitate the patent’s journey into recovery.

What sets Georgette apart from the many caring nurses in the addiction field is her sincere dedication to the needs of the alcoholic / addict that goes “above and beyond”, while not seeking any recognition for herself. She is a tireless worker each year during Founder’s Day weekend when the Ignatia Heritage Center hosts over 800 guests. As part of the planning for the 70th anniversary of Sr. Ignatia and Dr. Bob opening the first detox unit in the world, she suggested that a “Sobriety Quilt” be created with squares that could be purchased with individuals’ names and sobriety dates. Not only did she make the suggestion, but volunteered both her time and materials to see the idea to fruition. The completed king size quilt of over 300 squares is displayed in the Auditorium of St. Thomas.


Dr. Robert Smith Award
Dr. Bob Smith, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, believed in the basic worth of each human being and gave a gift to people worldwide who have struggled with the disease of alcoholism. He understood that the disease is very difficult to battle but also knew that recovery was possible through a program designed around 12 specific steps. Individuals nominated for this award are known for their innovation, offering hope and for inspiring change in others.

2009 Dr. Robert Smith Award recipient: Andrew DiBartolomeo, M.D.
Dr. DiBartolomeo is widely known in the Summit County community for his passion for helping people with alcoholism and addictions. He has worked locally in both addiction medicine and emergency medicine including several ADM Board network agencies. He served as attending staff at Edwin Shaw Hospital and as the first Medical Director of Oriana Detoxification programs. He also served as an attending staff at the Akron City Department of Emergency Medicine.

Among his many accomplishments is included the care he orchestrated at the “Purple House” which was located on West Market Street through innovative outpatient services for individuals struggling with alcoholism and addictions.

He also was named as a fellow by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). This honor celebrates the exceptional contributions of the leading members in the field of Addiction Medicine. Only 262 physicians have been awarded Fellow status.


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County of Summit
Alcohol, Drug Addiction
& Mental Health Services Board

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Suite B2
Akron, OH 44313-6914


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