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									OASAS Today
News from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
George E. Pataki, Governor
Shari Noonan, Acting Commissioner

Volume 1
Winter 2006

OASAS Today is published by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse ServicesEditor: Joseph MorrisseyLayout: Laura PerryIdeas can be
submitted to:OASAS Communications1450 Western AvenueAlbany, NY 12203

Message from Acting Commissioner Noonan
Welcome to the new and improved OASAS Today. A great deal of work went into making this
publication a reality, and I hope that you find the end product to be a well-balanced, informative
agency newsletter. As a worldwide leader in the field of chemical dependence, OASAS
continues to move forward, and this is due mainly to the dedicated efforts of our employees and
providers. During my time at OASAS, it’s been my honor to see and hear first hand about the
families you’ve healed and the lives you’ve saved. Treatment works. Governor Pataki realizes it
works, and the 2006-07 Executive Budget makes strategic investments supporting this principle.
The 2006-07 Executive Budget provides for new beds for women with children, adolescents and
veterans. The Budget also includes a Cost of Living Adjustment for direct care workers and
provides funding for new collaborations between OASAS and the State Office of Children and
Family Services, the State Office of Mental Health, the State Division of Parole and the New York
City Department of Homeless Services. In addition, the organizational changes OASAS has
made over the past year have put us in a great position to better serve New Yorkers. We’ve also
devised a solid plan to keep the agency moving on the right track for the next five years and
beyond. Effective September 1, 2005, a new organizational structure was enacted at OASAS.
This extensive collaborative effort resulted in a sound structure with appropriate checks and
balances, along with a more efficient and effective alignment of OASAS responsibilities.
Working together, we were able to match employee abilities and preferences with agency needs.
The end result has put us in a great position to make a substantial impact on the addictions field
in 2006. However, aspiring to make an impact is one thing; having a firm plan in place to do so
is quite another. In early September, the new and improved OASAS organization convened to
establish both short and long term goals for the agency. The end result, which was completed in
mid-December, is the Five Year Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Chemical Dependence and
Gambling Services for 2006-2010. The Plan focuses on performance improvement for the
service delivery system and reinforces the Agency’s commitment to quality prevention, treatment,
recovery, and support services. It also marks the completion of the reorganization process. For
a copy of the plan go to our website at www.oasas.state.ny.us. The New Year brings a new hope
for the agency and the New Yorkers we serve, and if our accomplishments over the past year are
any indication, I am confident we will continue to grow and evolve in the coming year.

OASAS announces funding to combat compulsive
More Than $1.5 Million in New Funding Strengthens Prevention and
Treatment Efforts in New York State
Recently, OASAS Acting Commissioner Shari Noonan announced more than $1.5 million in new
funding to expand compulsive gambling prevention and treatment services across New York
State. Governor George E. Pataki said, “New York State is an established leader in the
prevention and treatment of all addictive disorders and we are proud of the systems and
programs we have put in place to help people in need. However, we can always do more and
this new funding will play an important role in helping those who have developed compulsive
gambling problems get treatment, as well as create new prevention programs that will help
people before their gambling reaches compulsive levels.”Through New York State’s
science-based prevention framework, OASAS will work with local communities to adopt a plan
that structures prevention activities and services targeted at reducing individual, family,
community and environmental risk factors that are associated with gambling activities. OASAS
will also work with providers to develop treatment and prevention programs and services related
to compulsive gambling.OASAS will also conduct a statewide needs assessment using two
surveys: a household survey of adults age 18 and older and a school survey of students in
grades 7 through 12. Based on the results of this survey, OASAS will ensure that prevention
and treatment services for compulsive gambling are appropriately located and developed
throughout the state. Additionally, OASAS will develop a licensing process for gambling
treatment and prevention programs and a credentialing process for compulsive gambling
counselors. OASAS Acting Commissioner Shari Noonan said, “Governor Pataki is committed to
raising awareness about the potential repercussions of compulsive gambling, and this funding is
a clear indication that New York State takes this matter very seriously. We are extremely
confident that this increase in funding will further strengthen the world’s most comprehensive
addiction treatment and prevention network.” For more information, visit

OASAS joins Workforce Summit II
The agenda included national workforce development initiatives.
On October 19th, 2005, Acting OASAS Commissioner Shari Noonan joined policy makers and
professionals in the addictions field at the Workforce Summit II in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Summit was convened by the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York to follow-up
on the progress made by each state since the first Summit in January 2004. At the conference,
leaders from New Jersey and Pennsylvania acknowledged New York State's leadership in the
area of workforce development.The agenda included an update on national workforce
development initiatives designed to help develop future leaders in the addictions field. It also
included an update on the Federal government’s response to the issues facing the addictions
workforce throughout the nation, including overcoming workforce barriers in the areas of
marketing/recruitment, training/credentialing and compensation.

Addiction prevention and recovery efforts at OASAS receive
national recognition
On May 12, 2005, the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) presented
OASAS with two Blue Pencil Awards and one Gold Screen Award at their 2005 Communications
School in Austin, TX. New York State’s Underage Drinking: Not a Minor Problem campaign,
which was launched by Lt. Governor Mary Donohue and OASAS in September 2004, won a Blue
Pencil Award of Excellence in the category of Special Product and a Gold Screen Award of
Excellence in the category of Website II. In addition, the 2004 Recovery Fine Arts Festival won a
Blue Pencil Award of Excellence in the category of Recognition Program or Campaign. “It’s an
honor for New York State to be recognized for its efforts in raising awareness of the dangers
associated with underage drinking, while also touting the wonderful accomplishments that
individuals in recovery continue to make in today’s society,” said Acting OASAS Commissioner
Shari Noonan. “New York State is extremely proud of its prevention efforts and we are
committed to doing all that we can to expand on these accomplishments.”For more information
regarding the awards, please visit http://www.nagc.com/awards/. Additional, information regarding
the Recovery Fine Arts Festivals and the Underage Drinking: Not a Minor Problem Campaign can
be found at http://www.oasas.state.ny.us.

OASAS launches clearinghouse
In August 2005, Governor Pataki signed a new law directing OASAS to implement a statewide
education program concerning the dangers of using and producing methamphetamine. In
response to the new law, Acting OASAS Commissioner Shari Noonan said, "Governor Pataki has
done an incredible service to the communities of New York State by signing this important
legislation. There are very real hazards associated with production and use of
methamphetamine, and through its education campaign, OASAS will reach out to as many
communities as possible to make them aware of these dangers and warning signs. In the
process, tragedies will be prevented and lives will be saved." Increased coordination between
OASAS, other federal, state and local agencies along with the general public will be the key
component of this initiative. With this in mind, OASAS has established a methamphetamine
clearinghouse website to serve as the primary source of public information and available
education on methamphetamine for residents of New York State. It is intended to be a
user-friendly, one-stop catalogue, listing the best information and sources of training currently
available, both within New York and across the nation. It focuses on the major
methamphetamine related topics of interest. The site also lists those specific materials relevant
to audiences with unique needs such as mandated reporters, police, firefighters, ambulance
personnel, and others.The methamphetamine clearinghouse can be found at

Staff show dedication during transit strike
OASAS staff demonstrated remarkable fortitude during the recent transit strike in New York City;
some taking as many as three and a half hours in getting to work. OASAS would like to recognize
the following employees who showed astute dedication during the transit strike: Stanley Decker,
Yolanda Martinez, William Cruz, Westley Gillard, Thomas Booker, Stephanie Saporito, June
Lazerus, Joseph Chelales, Charles Peters, Ken Baker, Beverly Scobie, Angela McMillian, John
Perez, and Sandra Liburd.

Three generations of Blaisdell family members visit the ATC
On October 11, 2005, three generations of the Blaisdell family visited the Blaisdell Addiction
Treatment Center (ATC) and the Rockland Psychiatric Center (RPC).Harry Underwood Blaisdell
grew up on the RPC campus and shared fond memories of the facility. He later became the Chief
Business Officer of RPC and also raised his family on the campus. The family spoke with pride
about visiting the RPC units, always finding them clean, pleasant and comfortable for the
patients.The family brought a copy of the 1957 book “Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age,”
which was autographed by Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the book, Dr.
Russell E. Blaisdell is credited “having written a bright page in the annals of alcoholism” by
bringing the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting into Rockland State Hospital in 1939. In 1939,
AA was considered to be a radical new proposal for treating alcoholics. It was a visit that
brought to light the rich history at Blaisdell and the importance of the legacy that we share with
our patients and other visitors.

New policy on late renewal of credentials
A new policy was implemented in June regarding the late renewal of credentials, which the
agency hopes will bring individuals who held a credential in the past back into the fold. Under
the old policy, counselors and prevention practitioners who failed to renew their credentials in a
timely manner were required to restart the initial credentialing process as a new applicant.
Under the new policy, these individuals will have their credential conditionally renewed pursuant
to a Waiver Request of the applicable regulatory provisions. The conditional renewal will be for a
period of up to 180 days, subject to satisfying an evaluation of competency and ethical conduct,
continuing professional education and fee requirements. This new policy will affect more than
4,000 individuals, and the agency expects to have a streamlined process in place to notify the
affected individuals in the near future.

Recovery Community Centers
Recovery Community Centers are sites that provide informational, emotional, housing and
vocational support services to people in the recovery community and their families, to increase
their chances of achieving lifelong recovery. The centers are independently funded and
non-aligned, not for profit corporations with Board of Directors reflective of the community,
through which recovery services can be delivered. Recovery Community Centers offer
opportunities to select and participate in activities, resources and services designed to encourage
and promote lifelong recovery. For more information, e-mail recovery@oasas.state.ny.us.

Save the Date
9th Annual Conference of the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State,
Inc., from January 29 - February 1, 2006 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York
City, Strengthening Families & Empowering Communities. This conference is designed for
alcohol and other drug prevention and treatment providers, human service professionals,
physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, administrators, nurses, addiction counselors, advocates,
consumers, government officials, public policy makers and legislators, and others concerned
about alcoholism and substance abuse. For more information about the conference is at

OASAS Employees of the Month
July 2005
Mark McNulty
Addictions Program Specialist II
Mr. McNulty is assigned to the Program Review Unit, where he has been a key contributor.
Recently, OASAS commenced an enforcement action against a Long Island provider. During
the process, Mr. McNulty spent tireless hours, many of which were nights and weekends, to meet
with patients, staff, family members and the Long Island Community to help them obtain a
broader understanding of the situation at Lake Grove.

August 2005
Enrique Lopez
Registered Nurse II
Mr. Lopez has been with the Manhattan Addiction Treatment Center for approximately one year,
and has been in the New York State system for more than 20 years. He consistently provides
quality care to patients, while regularly going above and beyond what is expected of him. Mr.
Lopez is a jack of all trades at the ATC, assisting other nurses and counselors with their patients,
fixing broken equipment and working 16 hour shifts to allow other nurses much-needed time off.
Mr. Lopez’s selfless dedication to OASAS and its patients has been nothing but a benefit to the
Manhattan ATC, its employees and its patients.

September 2005
Elaine Holdridge
Administrative Aide
Ms. Holdridge displays an outstanding work ethic in her occupation with the Division of
Systems/Program Performance and Analysis. She comes into work a half hour early every day,
and when needed, will stay late to help her fellow co-workers, always without complaint. Ms.
Holdridge constantly puts her best foot forward to develop new skills. Over the past year, she
learned to develop PowerPoint presentations, and this skill has come in extremely handy in her
bureau. Ms. Holdridge is an effective communicator who is greatly admired and respected by
her co-workers.

October 2005
Lisa Lite-Rottman
Addictions Program Specialist 4
Ms. Lite-Rottmann has played an integral part of OASAS’ enforcement action against Lake Grove
Treatment Centers from day one. She has given a great deal of her time and energy to ensuring
a coordinated and successful process while always putting the needs of the patients first. Her
dedication is unparalleled and we can’t thank her enough for the professionalism and compassion
that she brings to her job each and every day.

November 2005
Maureen McCann
Regional Coordinator
Ms. McCann is recognized for her exceptional management and leadership skills. Maureen
focuses her staff on strengthening programs through clinical and programmatic quality
improvement. Many of the unique programs in the New York City are located in the Lower
Manhattan Region, providing a variety of specialized services. The hard work of Maureen and her
staff is often recognized as a model of diligence and competence to other field operations.

December 2005
Beverly Wickham
Calculations Clerk II
Ms. Wickham has been an exemplary asset to the Travel Unit. She’s a dedicated, dependable,
and hard working employee who always goes above and beyond the expected responsibilities to
assist others. She works diligently and has a high productivity rate, which is especially critical
when under deadlines to get payments out. Many OASAS staff rely on Beverly for help in
completing their travel vouchers, and she always responds to them with courtesy. Ms. Wickham
willingly took on the added responsibility of merchandise payments. Although this was meant to
be a temporary task, Beverly continues to come in early and has even worked weekends in effort
to help ensure that travel and merchandise payments are kept current.

Addictions Professionals Day 2005
Governor Pataki recently issued a proclamation naming September 12 as Addiction Professionals
Day in New York State. On that same day at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, Acting OASAS
Commissioner Shari Noonan and Associate Commissioner Neil Grogin honored the 2005 CASAC
of the Year, CASAC Trainee of the Year, CPP/CPS of the Year. The addictions workforce as a
whole was also honored for their numerous contributions to New Yorkers over the past year.At
the event, Neil Grogin, OASAS Associate Commissioner for the Division of Management
Resources and Quality Assurance, named Margarita Ramos the CASAC Trainee of the Year;
Carole Brown the CASAC of the Year and Lawrence Calkins the CPP/CPS of the Year.

Congratulations to the 2005 winners!

2005 ASAP Regional Outstanding Chemical Dependency
   Theodore Allen, CASAC Trainee, Phoenix Academy at Yorktown (Westchester/Putnam)
   Frederick Cohen, CASAC, Samaritan Village, Inc. (NYC)
   Janice Glenn-Slaughter, CASAC Trainee, Odyssey House, Inc. (NYC)
   Dawn Harris, CASAC, Cornerstone Continuous Care (Long Island)
   Maureen Kenney, CPP, Putnam Family & Community Services (Westchester/Putnam)
   Anne Lahr, CPP, Ontario County Substance Abuse Services-Turnings (Finger Lakes)
   Pedro Pereira, CASAC Trainee, Seafield Services (Long Island)
   Neil Pollicino, CPP, Single Parent Resource Center, Inc. (NYC)
   Margaret Poziomska, CASAC Trainee, The Recovery Center (Hudson Valley)
   Michael Pringle, CASAC Trainee, Seneca County Community Counseling (Finger Lakes)
   Nicholas Roes, CASAC, New Hope Manor (Hudson Valley)
   Constance Wille, CASAC, Champlain Valley Family Center (Northeastern New York)
   IPDA Award of Individual Distinction in Addictions Education, Rochelle Cardillo
   IPDA Award of Program Excellence in Addictions Education and Training, Outreach
    Training Institute

2004-05 OASAS Chemical Dependence Professional of the
   CASAC Trainee of the Year, Margarita Ramos, Discipleship Outreach Ministries
   CASAC of the Year, Carole Brown, Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District
   CPP of the Year, Lawrence Calkins, Seaway Valley Prevention Council

OASAS Commemorates National Recovery Month in New
York State
2nd Annual Run for Recovery
The 2nd Annual Run for Recovery was held on September 13 at the Empire State Plaza
in Albany. The relay celebrated the hope of recovery from addiction through healthy
competition. Persons in recovery often speak of the importance of having support from
a group or a team of people, and a relay reinforces this concept. The two mile relay
consisted of teams from New York State agencies and chemical dependence service
providers, and consisted of four runners or walkers, each doing a half mile lap around
the reflecting pools of the Plaza. More than 400 runners and walkers participated in the
event this year, doubling last year’s total. Acting OASAS Commissioner Shari Noonan
kicked off the event with welcoming remarks, and spirits were high as the starting horn
sounded and the first round of runners and walkers dashed over the starting line. After
the race, Commissioner’s Cup trophies were awarded to the fastest teams, which were
the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and St. Peter’s Treatment Program.
The Team Costume award went to McPike Addiction Treatment Center and the Slow &
Steady award went to Albany Citizens Council on Alcoholism and Other Chemical
Dependencies, Inc. The event concluded with live music provided by The Foy Brothers
who played a variety of crowd pleasing favorites.

In addition, the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of NYS, Inc. hosted the
Finish Line Party and provided refreshments for everyone.

2nd Annual Recovery Fine Arts Festival
OASAS commemorated National Recovery Month in New York State through its 2nd
Annual Recovery Fine Arts Festival. This national award winning program showcased
the achievement of artistic expression by persons in recovery, and celebrated the
benefits of recovery for individuals, families and communities. Independent judges from
the art profession volunteered their time and awarded best in show from seven
categories. Judges include: Pam Torazzo, David Brickman, Ann Thane, Kim Thompson
Park, Melissa Osbeck, Sharon Shufelt and Al Alfaro. Submissions were judged on
artistic quality and how well the piece addressed this year’s theme -- Join the Voices for
Recovery: Healing Lives, Families and Communities. The contest winners were honored
at a reception held on September 22, at the New York State Capitol War Room in
Albany. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Raymond Conte, OASAS
Director of Recovery Services. Opening remarks and reading of the Governor’s
Proclamation were provided by Mark Kissinger, Deputy Secretary to the Governor for
Health & Human Services. Additionally, OASAS Acting Commissioner Shari Noonan
provided remarks and presented the awards. Odyssey House received an appreciation
award from OASAS for their outstanding support of art therapy and the evening ended
with a brief history tour of the War Room by Marvin Wallace, Capitol Tour Guide.

Congratulations to the following winners:
Jill Linkner in the category of oil, “Our Family’s Healing Journey”
Coleen Carrol-Foran in the category of watercolor, “Family Tree of Life”
Kenneth Taylor in the category of pencil, “Restoration of Body, Mind and Soul”
Michelle Rittershaws in the category of photography, “New Beginning”
Danielle LeMunyon in the category of acrylic, “Epiphany”
Victoria Allen-Lenin in the category of pen and ink, “Safety Found with Music and Art –
Victoria’s Home”
Christopher Gaskin in the category of Commissioner’s Choice, “The Many Shades of

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