Sara Goldsby, Director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), received the 12th Annual Ramstad/Kennedy Award for Outstanding Leadership this morning (June 6) during the Annual Meeting of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Inc. (NASADAD). Established in honor of Congressmen Jim Ramstad and Patrick Kennedy, both vocal advocates of recovery support services, the award champions localized efforts to support prevention, treatment and recovery.
The Ramstad/Kennedy Award, which is presented by the planning partners for September’s National Recovery Month observance, recognizes Director Goldsby’s work to spread the message of recovery and the message that prevention – reaching youth before the age of first use – can be effective in helping to break the cycle of addiction in families.
In South Carolina, Goldsby has provided leadership in supporting strategic promotion of family recovery programs designed to support families dealing with addiction and those whose loved ones are in recovery. She was instrumental in finalizing arrangements for her state’s Peer Support Specialist initiatives that enables trained professionals to provide individualized recovery-focused services to enhance the quality and effectiveness of recovery for individuals and families. Peer Support Specialists offer hope, support and advocacy to others by sharing their own experiences of living in recovery with mental illness and/or substance use disorders (SUDs).
“Sara has worked to engage state agencies and create statewide change that will provide enduring resources for residents and encourage recovery for the future benefit of South Carolina families and communities,” said Sis Wenger of the National Association of Children of Addiction (NACoA), a Recovery Month partner.
“Together in partnership with the dedicated organizations that comprise the Recovery Month planning partners, recovery success stories have become commonplace in South Carolina, in part because of Sara’s ongoing and exceptional commitment,” Wenger said.
“The recipient of the Ramstad/Kennedy award embodies the innovation of a leader dedicated to supporting prevention, treatment and recovery in their community. On behalf of over 200 collaborating organizations that make Recovery Month possible, we congratulate Sara on her vision and commitment” said Recovery Month partner Marie Gallo Dyak, President of the Entertainment Industries Council Inc.
Both retired Minnesota Third District representative Jim Ramstad and retired Rhode Island First District representative Patrick J. Kennedy championed a mental health and addiction parity law in 2008 that requires easily accessible health insurance coverage for mental illness and addiction treatment. Together, the Congressmen have sponsored Recovery Month and other programs to further therapy, treatment and recovery services for these illnesses across the country. The award in their names honors a recipient who has shown the utmost commitment in expanding the prospects for recovery of individuals with SUDs and their families.
DAODAS is the cabinet agency charged with ensuring the provision of quality services to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions.