Greenwald Receives Award for Legislative Work To End NJ Substance Abuse Crisis


(TRENTON) – Commending his stewardship of legislation focused on fighting the opioid crisis, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald received the “State Leadership in Increasing Access to Substance Use Treatment Award” from the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

“The opioid and substance abuse crisis affects families all across New Jersey. No community is immune to the effects of addiction,” said Greenwald (D-Camden Burlington). “To win the fight, we must continue to work together with our non-profit partners, such as NJAMHAA, to develop strategies that will improve access to treatment and take preventative measures. It is honor to receive this award from NJAMHAA.”

The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) honored Greenwald during its Courage and Compassion Awards Reception on Monday, April 15, 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Princeton in Plainsboro, NJ. The awards ceremony culminates the first day of NJAMHAA’s Annual Conference: The Ivy League of Behavioral Health, Policy, and Practice in Action.

Greenwald is sponsor of legislation (A-4744) aiming to remove barriers to access to effective medication assisted treatment (MAT) in a timely manner for Medicaid beneficiaries with addiction and substance use disorders.

“When it comes to the treatment of people suffering from opioid addiction, every moment matters,” said Majority Leader Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “Like any other disease, it must be treated in order for a patient to recover. This legislation puts into statute that Medicaid recipients will be able to receive critical treatment faster to begin their road to recovery. We must break down treatment and access barriers, like this, for everyone.”

NJAMHAA also presented nine other awards during the evening event:
* Frank Pallone, U.S. Congressman, Chair, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Federal Champion for Health Care Award

* Joseph F. Vitale, State Senator, Chair of the State Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, State Champion for Health Care Award

* John Thompson, MS, CPRS, Senior Director of Prevention and Recovery Support Services, Center for Family Services, University of Pennsylvania Quaker Award: Outstanding Peer Leader

* Dorothy Scott, Housing First Behavioral Care Specialist, South Jersey Behavioral Health Resources, Brown University Bear Award: Outstanding Direct Care Provider

* Tara Chalakani, LPC, NCC, ACS, RN, Vice President, Mental Health Services for Youth and Families, Preferred Behavioral Health Group, Yale University Bulldog Award: Outstanding Leader in Children’s Services

* Sandra Marie Connolly, MD, CCHP-P, Medical Director, Northern State Prison, University Correctional Health Care, Columbia University Lion Award: Outstanding Leader in Adult Services

* SERV Behavioral Health System, Princeton University Tiger Award: Outstanding Provider of the Year

* Neva Pryor, MS, Executive Director, Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc., Leadership in Addressing Problem Gambling Award

* Jim Romer, Mdiv, Former Director of Psychiatric Emergency Services, RWJBarnabas – Monmouth Medical Center, and President, Mental Health Emergency Services Association, Lifetime Leadership in Mental Health Emergency and Screening Services Award.