Connie Mele, MSN, RN, LCAS, PMHCNS-BC, CARN-AP
Director of Provided Services
Connie has worked the field of substance abuse since 1979. She has held various job positions in the field of addictions, from a staff nurse in a Methadone Clinic, a Director of Nursing at an inpatient treatment facility, to implementing a new inpatient program, and an outpatient behavioral health clinic. She has spent the last thirteen years in the Public Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Disabilities system. In her role as Program Administrator for Substance Abuse Services for Mecklenburg County, she was successful in obtaining a $1.5 million grant from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse, Mental Health Services Administration) to implement an integrated treatment program. This program treats those clients who are suffering from severe and persistent mental illness as well as substance abuse. She is currently the Director of the Provided Services Organization of Mecklenburg County. She assisted with the development of a SAMHSA grant for Jail Diversion of Veterans who have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and/or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). She is working with the state of North Carolina on a SAMHSA grant that they received to educate substance abuse providers how to screen for Traumatic Brain Injuries and how to adjust substance abuse treatment services if the person has a TBI. She is also currently working on a grant that will integrate the care of people who have substance abuse, mental health and chronic health issues. The North Carolina Governor’s Institute has asked her to work on the development of a curriculum to be offered in all nursing schools on how to deal effectively with the addicted patient.
She currently serves as the President of the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies Board. Recently she was the Chair for the Addiction Nursing Certification Board which is an international certification board. She teaches at UNCC School of Health Professions and Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing at Queens University on “How to Deal Effectively with the Chemically Dependent Patient,” and “The Impaired Nurse.”Connie served as a reviewer and contributor to the revised “Scope and Standards of Addictions Nursing Practice” published by the American Nurses Association and the International Nurses Society on Addictions. She has conducted numerous workshops and presentations on substance abuse and recovery topics.
She received the International Nurses Society on Addictions, Administration and Management Award in 2001. She received the Jody Kellermann award in 2005 from The Chemical Dependency Center and she received the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Charlotte Chapter’s Mental Health Professional of the Year. She received the International Nurses Society on Addictions President Award in 2011.
In 2008 she served as the Substance Abuse Treatment expert at a Town Hall Meeting put on by the A&E network’s show “Intervention” and Time Warner Cable.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from UNCC and did all of her course work in substance abuse. She is certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and as an Advanced Practice Certified Addictions Nurse. She is also a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and she is a board certified Nurse Executive.
Trina Fullard, MA CCS, LCAS
Vice President of Information Systems
McLeod Addictive Disease Center
Trina Fullard is currently the Vice President of Information Systems at the McLeod Addictive Disease Center. During her 15 years of employment, Trina has held a number of positions all increasing in responsibility. Her path to McLeod started at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. There, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1993. She then moved on to graduate school at the University of Maryland College Park. During her time at the University of Maryland, Trina spent time working for the Bridges Project in Washington, D.C. Through the Marriott Foundation, The Bridges Project worked with adolescents with varying types of disabilities in efforts to find work for them upon graduation from high school.
After receiving her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1995, Trina moved back to Pennsylvania, where she was employed as a Chemical Dependency Therapist with Greenbriar Treatment Center. Trina moved to Charlotte, NC in August of 1997, where she began working as a counselor for the McLeod Addictive Disease Center. She was promoted to Director of Adolescent Services in February 1999. Trina received her Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist credential in September of 2002. She moved quickly from that point and earned her Certified Clinical Supervisor credential in 2004.
Trina’s insight, passion, and commitment to children and adolescents are reflected when she talks about adolescents and self-esteem. One of the major challenges is helping adolescents understand the importance of making positive choices now. Trina’s involvement with the community does not end with her job. She was active in the community as a council member for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council of Mecklenburg County for eight years and is a regular volunteer for local community organizations such as Athletes United for Youth and the Police Activities League. She is also a board member serving as treasurer for the North Carolina Juvenile Services Association.
In March 2006, Trina's hard work was recognized, and she was promoted to Vice President of Clinical Support & Adolescent Services. Trina developed the policies and implemented the procedures for the clinical supervision program for over 100 clinicians at McLeod Center. In April 2009, she was asked to become the Vice President of Treatment Services, encompassing both adolescent and adult populations of clients with addiction challenges.
Most recently, her clinical skills and knowledge of state government, policies and procedures are serving her in the position of Vice President of Information Systems. The movement towards electronic medical records, streamlined intake, clinical, and discharge processes, and connection between clinical and technical skills opened the path for Trina to take on another challenge. She currently balances her time between Information Systems and oversight of Clinical Supervision, which was reassigned to her during the spring of 2013. When she is not busy working outside of the home, Trina is caring for her husband and family. Her son, 21 is a senior at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Her two daughters are 16 and 12.
Executive Director, Men's Program
Benchmark Recovery Center
Jason Chane is the Executive Director for the men’s program at the Benchmark Recovery Center, mentoring clients, leading groups, and overseeing the daily operations of the men’s program.
Jason is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in the State of Texas, a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) in the state of Florida, has ADC Certifications in the state of Texas and Florida, as well as an ICADC International Counselor Certification. Jason also holds a B.A. from Trinity University. Jason has worked in the chemical dependency field since 2008. Prior to his current position, Jason worked as a Program Director at Mark Houston Recovery Center (Benchmark) and as a counselor at a treatment center in Florida.
Jason’s powerful experience with and passion for the twelve steps and his joy for life creates the ultimate recovery culture found at BRC. His personal interests include adventurous outdoor activities and sports. Jason is also dedicated to his yoga practice.
Beth Fisher, LCSW, LCAS, MAC, CCS
NARR Executive Director
President, Hope Homes, Inc.
Beth Fisher has worked in the field of addictions since 1987 as a social worker specializing in the field of addiction recovery, and has particular interest and expertise in recovery residences. In 1996, she founded Hope Homes Inc., a NARR Level 3 extended care recovery residence system for men and women based in Atlanta, GA with additional locations in Charlotte, NC and Greenville, SC.
In addition, she is a founding member and current president of the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR), a rapidly evolving association whose mission is to equip residence providers with standards and advocacy tools to optimally promote safety and community for the recovering individual.
Beth sits on the editorial board of Addiction Professional magazine, and is a frequent contributor addressing issues related to recovery residences. Beth often speaks publically on both a professional and personal basis about the power of community, for which she attributes much of her own long term recovery.
Douglas J. Edwards, MBA
Publisher of Addiction Professional
Douglas J. Edwards is Publisher of Addiction Professional, having formerly served as editor in chief of Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction Professional. Edwards has been serving the addiction treatment community since 2000 in multiple editorial and marketing roles. Edwards will serve as moderator of the discussion.