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People & Places

ADM Board honors trailblazers at luncheon

11/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Kathy Alstrom, RN; Sandy Oehler, LISW-S; Ken Ditlevson, LPCC-S, shown below right, from left, and the Turning Point Program Treatment Team, shown above, were at the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board’s recent appreciation luncheon.
Photos courtesy of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADM) Services Board paid tribute to local trailblazers at its appreciation luncheon Oct. 23.

Those who received awards include: Kathy Alstrom, RN; Ken Ditlevson, LPCC-S; Sandy Oehler, LISW-S; and the Turning Point Program treatment team.

In 2007, the ADM Board established awards in honor of 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 trailblazers — 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.

The awardees, with information provided by the ADM Board, include:

  • The 2012 Maggie Carroll Smith Award was presented to Oehler, director of community psychiatric supportive treatment services at Pastoral Counseling Services since 2005. During her tenure, she has significantly increased client enrollment and enhanced the program by offering services to address individual needs of the clients. She also recently partnered with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank to set up a food pantry at the PCS Administrative Offices, and every month she puts in a food order, picks up the items and restocks the shelves.
  • The Drs. Fred and Penny Frese Award was presented to Ditlevson, assistant vice president, special programs at Child Guidance and Family Solutions, who has been the driving force behind the creation of innovative and highly successful early childhood mental health programs. These programs serve thousands of children, hundreds of teachers and dozens of child care centers annually.
    Earlier this year, Ditlevson and his team received a grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health to create a video that highlights practices used within child care centers in Summit County. This training video will be used at state and local trainings and professional conferences to demonstrate the importance of conducting and using social-emotional screenings in young children.
  • As a registered nurse, Alstrom, who received the Sister Mary Ignatia Award, has worked in the chemical dependency treatment field for nearly 16 years. Most recently she retired from Mature Services as a treatment nurse but still volunteers at the agency. In an effort to help clients to realize the importance of better managing their chronic health problems, she started a client group that focused on disease management with education on diabetes, heart disease and smoking cessation. In addition, she assisted with starting a Brown Bag Medication Review Program. The program allows older adults in senior public housing to bring all of their medications to a meeting so they can ask questions and get advice one-on-one with a nurse and pharmacist.
  • The Dr. Bob Smith Award was designed to recognize those who, through their innovation, offer hope and inspire change in others. Like Dr. Bob Smith, The Turning Point Program helps people turn their lives around. Formerly known as the Summit County Felony Drug Court, Turning Point serves 200-300 clients a year. These clients are individuals with a substance abuse diagnosis who have violated the law and/or probation. For those clients who successfully complete the Turning Point Program, the charge is dismissed, thus allowing the participant to make amends for his or her behavior while avoiding the stigma of a felony conviction. Those clients already convicted of a felony offense are given the assistance to lead a sober life. Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tom Teodosio provides leadership to the Turning Point team and has worked to inspire participants to succeed. Team members being recognized include: Teodosio; Mike Rickett, assistant Summit County prosecutor; Ashley Frank, Summit County probation liaison; Akron Police Department Street Narcotics Uniform Detail (SNUD) officers Donny Williams and Al Jones; and treatment staff from Oriana House — coordinator Jennifer Hawkins; caseworkers Jessica McAdoo, Carmen Bivins, Emily Schrank and Leslie Swales; cognitive skills specialist Ryan Willard; and treatment counselor Steve Murphy.
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