The honors continue for pioneering addiction treatment administrator James Cusack, who last month was awarded the prestigious Father Joseph C. Martin Award at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD). This week, Cusack and wife Sue, founders of the Villa Veritas Foundation in Kerhonkson, N.Y., will receive a 2012 Arthur Liman Public Interest Award from the Legal Action Center.
Four days after the Legal Action Center event, Villa Veritas Foundation (formerly known as Veritas Villa before the nonprofit foundation was established) will celebrate Jim Cusack’s 60 years of sobriety with a meet and greet session, a 60th anniversary meeting, and a buffet dinner.
Cusack, 83, has been involved in developing a number of quality-enhancing initiatives in the treatment profession long before they became fashionable. He worked on the ground floor of the establishment of treatment standards and post-treatment recovery housing in New York, and the Cusacks’ residential program was the first in the state to house alcoholics and drug addicts in the same facility.
Also to be honored at the Oct. 23 Legal Action Center event in New York City is Elizabeth M. Sacksteder, deputy general counsel at Citigroup and a longtime donor of legal services to underserved populations.
What I found particularly noteworthy about Cusack at NCAD is how he maintains a close eye on present trends while always paying homage to the 12-Step traditions that built this field. He serves as an important example of how leadership in this field works best when it is able to marry the old with the new.