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2018 AOE Winners
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FADAA 2018 Awards of Excellence Winners


Lifetime Achievement Award

Dick Jacobs

CEO, Aspire

Dick Jacobs will retire in December 2018 after a stellar 44-year career and a legacy of quality work and leadership. Dick presently serves as the CEO of Aspire Health Partners. Dick has oversight for a $95 million budget and 1,346 employee organization. Dick began his career as a methadone counselor at Thee Door in 1977 and eventually became the CEO of The Center for Drug Free Living prior to CEO of Aspire.

Mr. Jacobs has co-written and collaborated on numerous grants funded through SAMHSA, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Dick served as a field reviewer for the Treatment Improvement Protocol and served as a member of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network.

Dick was a founding board member and past president of the Certification Board of Addiction Professionals of Florida. He has served for many years on the Board of Directors of FADAA and most recently the Florida Behavioral Health Association.


Leadership Award, The Dr. Donald "Jerry" Feulner Award

Candace Hodgkins, PhD

President and Chief Administrative Officer

Gateway Steps to Recovery

Candace Hodgkins, Ph.D. is currently the President and Chief Administration Officer of Gateway – Steps to Recovery, the largest provider of addiction treatment and prevention services in Duval County and the surrounding area. Dr. Hodgkins is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida, a National Certified Counselor, and a qualified supervisor for registered Mental Health Counselors.

Dr. Hodgkins has served as a board member of FADAA and the Florida Behavioral Health Association where she presently serves as Chair of the Housing and Recovery Division. She has been instrumental in bringing science-based research interventions to the patients and staff at Gateway. In the past year, Dr. Hodgkins collaborated on the development and implementation of a $7 million dollar Capital Campaign, expansion of Gateway’s Medication Assisted Treatment initiatives, and working with the City of Jacksonville and partners to combat the current Opioid crisis through their Project Saving Lives program.


Professional of the Year Award

Raymond M. Pomm, MD

Chief Medical Director

Gateway Community Services

Raymond Pomm, M.D. serves as Chief Medical Director for Gateway Community Services. Dr. Pomm is recognized for his recent work engaging community leaders involved in the current opioid epidemic. Dr. Pomm proposed to the City of Jacksonville an approach to identify persons who have overdosed and are being treated in the emergency department and transitioning them to treatment and rehabilitation. The City Council supported this approach by providing funding for a six month pilot project developed with local providers. This resulted in the development of the Project Save Lives pilot project that included several options for overdose survivors in the ED to access treatment.


Clinician of the Year Award

Susan Wooten, MSW

Counselor Supervisor of Women's Outpatient Services

DACCO Behavioral Health, Inc.

Susan Wooten holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and is the Counselor Supervisor of Women’s Outpatient Services for DACCO Behavioral Health, Inc. Susan initiated an annual staged, elaborate “addiction funeral” and “recovery birth” in the Women’s Outpatient area, which inspires and increases client satisfaction. She also instituted a Holiday Recovery Play for all agency clients and staff which has proved meaningful to participants. Susan’s daily work and accomplishments are aligned with our broader mission of advancing addiction and co-occurring treatment, advocacy for women with addiction issues involved in the child welfare & criminal justice systems, practice improvement, and workforce enhancements.


Recovery Support Specialist of the Year Award

Nancy Schilling

FACT Peer Specialist

SMA Behavioral Health

Nancy Schilling is a “Forensic Assertive Community Treatment” Peer Specialist with SMA Behavioral Healthcare. Nancy is a Certified Peer Specialist with the Florida Certification Board. Nancy is always willing to offer her assistance and has excellent rapport with the staff and patients throughout the community. She is a contributing member to the SMA Life Skills Coach group and helps others obtain their Qualified Peer Specialist Certifications. Nancy also trains fellow Peer Specialists to ensure a high standard of care. She exhibits exemplary values and is an outstanding Peer Specialist who is skillful in fostering supportive relationships with our clients.


Volunteer of the Year Award

Cher Levine

Volunteer Board Member with Women's Leadership Connection, Central Florida

Cher Levine is a Volunteer Board Member with the Women’s Leadership Connection in the Central Florida area. Nominated by Aspire Health Partners, their Women and Children’s Program has been greatly enhanced by Mrs. Levine’s participation. Her organizational services involve women and children in learning crafts and sewing skills, canvas painting, exercise groups, and nutrition classes. Shared meals are orchestrated for the residents and their families that support recovery. Cher and the Women’s Leadership Connection have also provided furniture for rooms used by clients and family. 300 residents and their families benefit from the Women’s Leadership Connection activities and Cher’s leadership.