Focus on Champions for Children
In honor of its 30th anniversary year in 2013, NACoA will choose a total of 30 "Champions for Children" to feature on this website and Facebook as a public vote of thanks for their extraordinary work over many years for children impacted by addiction.
Introducing our "Champions"
has worked in the field of addictive disorders for over 35 years. He began his career as associate producer of many of the films starring Father Martin and Dr. Joseph Pursch, both early pioneers in alcoholism communications and training. His early works include one of the first films on women and substance abuse, "The Secret Life of Sandra Blaine," and he produced some of the earliest television commercials for addiction treatment programs. A long-time friend of NACoA, Jack was the producer and director of more than 25 ground breaking videos including "Children of Denial," the first film dealing with children of alcoholics and solidifying the three dysfunctional family rules, Don't Talk, Don't Trust, Don't Feel; "Family Roles" which helped to disseminate the seminal work about the impact of roles for children; and "Sound of Silence," acknowledging the relationship between physical and sexual abuses and living with addiction. Over the years, he has contributed to multiple additional videos, most of which continue to be seen by thousands of people in treatment programs worldwide. While semi-retired and living in the Pacific Northwest, Jack is still active in the production of videos and works to spread the word about children of addicted parents by arranging foreign rights to publishers in other countries. His contributions to alcoholism and family impact awareness education helped to build the base of understanding about the disease upon which so much has followed. Countless thousands of children of alcoholic parents have benefited from Jack's work, and NACoA says "Thank You."
Mona M Johnson MA, CPP, CDP
Mona Johnson serves as Director of School Behavioral Health at the U.S. Army Medical Command Child, Adolescent, and Family Behavioral Health Office located at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis McChord where she has responsibility for the development and management of an Army School Behavioral Health outreach project and staff. Previously, she was the Director of Learning and Teaching Support at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Mona has been an advocate for vulnerable children across her career path. She has been a national leader in student assistance, work that has been especially impactful on children of alcohol and drug dependent parents. For her years of advocating and providing services for these children, NACoA thanks this "Champion."
Robert A. Zucker PhD.
Dr. Zucker is a professor of psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Michigan and directs the Psychiatry Department's Substance Abuse Section. He is also director of the university's Addiction Research Center. Over the past 30 years his research has described the course of early risk development for alcoholism and other substance abuse at multiple levels of function involving behavior and social context, brain functional response systems, and genes. His early identification and intervention studies have focused on preschool through adolescence since this is the interval when risk is most heavily developing. He is currently a member of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Select Panel on Underage Screening, which has been developing national guidelines and screening techniques for the very early identification of drinking problems and risk for later disorder. In the last decade he has also been working with central and eastern European researchers and government agencies to disseminate these findings to professionals and health care agencies in these countries. In 2010 he was awarded the Distinguished Researcher Award of the Research Society on Alcoholism. Dr. Zucker's research, begun more than 30 years ago, addressing the impact of heavy parental drinking on young children, has followed the children and their parents into adulthood and has made a major contribution to our knowledge of parental drinking influences on their children. In 2008, Dr. Zucker presented the history of research on children of alcoholics at a special symposium of the Research Society of America's annual conference honoring NACoA's 25th anniversary year.
Lynn Guelzow, CPP, Director of Prevention & Community Education at Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, has provided more support services to children in schools and community programs throughout Palm Beach County, in addition to implementing a children's program for children of clients in treatment at Hanley Center. She has supported training at Hanley Center for prevention and education personnel from multiple agencies and schools to use the Children's Program Kit, developed by NACoA, to implement supportive education for impacted children in their organizations and schools, and she organized and helped Hanley Center to provide education to clergy and other pastoral ministers to facilitate their ability to support addicted persons and their family members in local congregations. (Hanley Center is a non-profit addiction treatment and recovery center in Florida that was recently acquired by Caron Treatment Centers.)
Constance Weisner, PhD
Constance Weisner, DrPH, LCSW, is the Associate Director for Health Services Research, at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Weisner's research over many years on the impact of an individual's addiction on the health care costs of family members has shone a light on the emotional and physical side effects suffered by family members when they live with active addiction in a loved one. The research has also demonstrated that when an addicted individual enters treatment and begins recovery, within a year the medical costs of the family members diminish measurably. Dr. Weisner shares her findings to benefit impacted children and families across the country, in medical journals and internationally. NACoA thanks Dr. Weisner for providing scientific information and insights that supports the work of advocates for family treatment and recovery and for preventive interventions and support programs for children of addicted parents.
White Bison Inc.
White Bison has been a champion for children and families hurt by multigenerational alcoholism and trauma across Native American populations since 1988. It assisted in the creation of the Native Children's Program Kit and trained hundreds to use it to implement programs for children of alcoholics in Indian Country. White Bison created the Wellbriety Movement bringing training and prevention and recovery tools to Native communities across the country to support the recovery of addicted persons and their children and families across generations.