March 31, 2022
The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. (NJAMHAA) will honor Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal (D-11th District) and U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1st District) for their support and leadership in increasing access to mental health and substance use prevention, treatment and other services. In addition, Joe Albright, who is believed to be the longest-term statehouse correspondent, will be honored for his substantial contributions to advancing the quality and accuracy of reporting on important issues that affect all New Jersey residents.
"Our award recipients from the state and national governments have been champions for advancing health equity and increasing funding to improve the quality of life for all residents of New Jersey and the United States. I am enormously humbled and privileged to recognize these extremely influential leaders," said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO of NJAMHAA.
Lt. Gov. Oliver will receive the State Leader of the Year Award, in recognition of her exemplary stewardship in every position she has held and her constant focus on improving health equity, social justice, women's equality, health care and education throughout her career.
The State Legislator of the Year Award will be presented to New Jersey Senator Vin Gopal as a testament to his dedication and genuine interest in the needs of those who depend on the state's behavioral healthcare system, as demonstrated by his introduction of numerous related bills, several of which were signed into law.
Congressman Norcross will be honored with the Federal Legislator of the Year Award for leading the development of three key bills - the Opioid Treatment Access Act of 2022 (H.R.6279), the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (H.R.1384) and the Parity Enforcement Act of 2021 (H.R.1364).
Joe Albright, a long-term, dedicated journalist, will receive the Truth in Media award.
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