Shortly after beginning this journey, I joined your Fall Conference in Wrightsville Beach – an amazing “welcome aboard” I will not soon forget. Many of you warmly greeted and encouraged me. Thank you. In my conference program welcome letter, I promised that I would help empower you to thrive in NC’s evolving continuum of care to better serve your people. I framed and hung that commitment in my new office to remind me why I’m here.
Yes, APNC has moved! We are grateful for the time we spent with our friends at The Governor’s Institute, but we’re so excited to have our own downtown office. The Boylan Executive Center is located close to our partners at The Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services and our representatives in The North Carolina General Assembly.
Next, we partnered with NC DHHS’s Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) to organize NC’s first Opioid Misuse in Older and Vulnerable Adults Symposium. Virginia Johnson and I had a rewarding time working with the wonderful DAAS folks. We learned so much from each other, and the symposium was an incredible success. NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen addressed the attendees, consisting of state and county DSS and addiction professionals (pictured above), thanking us for our work promoting recovery and wellness in some of our most vulnerable citizens. Secretary Cohen has been a true ally since day one of her appointment.
We posted for a new Program Coordinator and received over 200 applications for this amazing opportunity. Choosing our new team member proves to be a challenging experience. So many brilliant and passionate people pursued this position! We’re looking forward to sharing more soon. Stay tuned.
Finally, we’re busy planning your Spring Conference in Asheville! We are delighted to announce that recovery rock star, Killian Noe, founder of Seattle’s Recovery Café, will be our opening plenary speaker. Our closing plenary is none other than prevention giant, Carlton Hall, formerly the Deputy Director of Training & TA with CADCA. Both special guests will enlighten and inspire us to want more and do more. Let me proudly announce an APNC Conference innovation: The Peer Recovery Track! More to come on this highly relevant development, including scholarship opportunities for NC Certified Peer Support Specialists.
I want to reiterate my promise to help empower you to thrive in your practice. NC is fortunate to boast such gifted and dedicated addiction professionals and I’m honored to serve you. Thank you.
Donald McDonald, MSW, LCAS