Saturday, May 20, 2006

Short Summary ATTOD and International Harm Reduction Conference

May 20, 2006
Short Summary
ATTOD and International Harm Reduction Conference

As in the past 2 conferences the CMA Training went well with close to 100 new or recertifying CMAs.

The workshop presentation was excellent with Sharon Dembinski, Paul Bowman and Donna Schoen all presenting on different aspects of advocacy. Rokki Baker chaired the workshop.

This years Advocate of the Year Award went to Sharon Dembinski for her work with the MOM Program.

In addition to the Advocate of the Year Award three NAMA advocates were honored with lifetime achievement awards. Donna Schoen chair of NAMA's oldest chapter was given an award for the contributions she has made and for just hanging in! John and Barbara Finger were also honored for the work they have done often being the only help for patients in the Southwest.

Vancouver 2006

The International Harm Reduction Conference this year had NAMA advocates just about everywhere. Joycelyn Woods, Rokki Baker and Becki Ballard all presented. Bill Nelles formerly of The Alliance in the UK helped with organizing the conference this year and was recipient of the Rolleston Award. Congratulations Bill!

There was also 2 historic meetings at the conference. First NAMA had the very first Affiliate Organizational Meeting similar to the chapter meeting at ATTOD. Following what we usually do at ATTOD and International Advocate of the Year Award was given to Bill Nelles for his work in Canada and a Lifetime Achievement to Joergen Kjaer.

Congratulations to all our recipients of awards we think you are pretty special!

Finally a meeting was organized to create a Canadian group that will be based on the structure and beliefs of NAMA primarily to deal with methadone issues in Canada. Bill Nelles asked everyone to attend including NAMA and BF because we will be helping them along so they can function as an organization as soon as possible. The Canadian methadone system is not friendly and patients are abused consistently with no where to turn for help. Enters NAMA and the new organization to change things.

So in all these were some very productive weeks. And after a rest we will have some work ahead of us this summer.

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