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New award honors Faces & Voices' first board chair

June 29, 2011
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Organization pays tribute to advocate for medication-assisted recovery

A nationally honored advocate now has an award named after her as well. Leaders of Faces & Voices of Recovery announced at their June “America Honors Recovery” event that a new award has been established in memory of Lisa Mojer-Torres, who served as the recovery advocacy organization’s first board chair.

Mojer-Torres, who died in April after a long battle with cancer, translated her own medication-assisted recovery into an impassioned call for expanded services for others. In 2010, she and addiction field historian and leader William White co-authored a publication on recovery-oriented methadone treatment.

At the June 22 national awards event sponsored by Faces & Voices, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) director H. Westley Clark, MD, MPH, read from a 2008 interview transcript in which Mojer-Torres said, “We need to find a way past the obstacle created by the stigma and to appeal to the pool of hundreds of persons like myself to help push the snowball and to assure the visibility of the true faces and voices of medication-assisted recovery.”

Faces & Voices credits Mojer-Torres’ leadership with shifting public understanding of discriminatory barriers encountered by addicts and for illustrating the presence of multiple paths to recovery.

Among the honors Mojer-Torres received were the first Public Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 1996 and the America Honors Recovery award from the Johnson Institute in 2006.

Next year, an award in Mojer-Torres’ name will be presented at Faces & Voices’ annual event for the first time.