Monday, April 11, 2011

Lisa Mojer-Torres (1956-2011)

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release
Contact Persons:
Roxanne Baker, President,
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director,
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA

It is with great sadness that the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery (NAMA Recovery) announces the passing of our friend and member of the board Lisa Mojer-Torres, Esq. We will miss her deeply.

Lisa Mojer-Torres, 54, of Lawrenceville, NJ lost her battle with ovarian cancer April 4, 2011. Daughter of the late Joseph R. Mojer, Lisa is survived by her beloved husband, Rolando Torres Jr.; her two loving sons, Matthew and Liam Torres, and her mother, Gwendolyn Walters Mojer. Also surviving are her brothers, Steven Mojer and his wife Maryjane and Michael Mojer and his wife Kim; a sister-in-law, Vivian Torres; nephews, Tyler and Jessie Mojer and nieces, Heather and Leah Mojer and Emily Jordan.

She received her B.A. from Boston University and her J.D. from the University of New York. Lisa was licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey. She passed the bar exam for both states the first time and months apart an incredible accomplishment for any student of law. However upon passing the bar exam she was informed that because she was taking methadone she would have to be supervised. Lisa was incensed because she had done nothing wrong. She challenged the decision and won the right to practice law in both states without supervision. This experience was the motivating force for her decision to use her knowledge of law for advocacy.

Lisa served as the recovery advocate for the New Jersey Division of Addiction Services (DAS). She was proud of setting up the Citizens’ Advisory Council (CAC) whose purpose was to involve consumers and families in improving the current system of care.

She served on the board of NAMA Recovery (formerly the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates) three times. As 2nd Vice President she was one of the founding directors of NAMA Recovery from 1992-94. She was part of the Interim Board in 1998-99 and assisted in NAMA Recovery's re-organization. This past fall she joined the board for a third time to provide her legal expertise.

But her greatest contribution and life's work was helping medication assisted treatment (MAT) patients with legal issues. It was mostly Pro Bono. There are hundreds, probably thousands of MAT patients and their families who benefited from these cases because agencies were educated about the benefits of MAT.

In 1993 she was a member of the Committee to Study the Federal Regulation of Methadone Treatment that resulted in the 1995 Institute of Medicine's report, Federal Regulation of Methadone Treatment. From 1998 to 2002 she served on the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s National Advisory Council. She served as a founding member and first chairperson of the Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) and was one of the persons responsible for insuring that persons receiving MAT were considered "in recovery". In 2005, Lisa participated in her third Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Committee Crossing the Quality Chasm: Adaptation to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders. This Committee’s findings are published in the 2006 National Academies Press, Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions.

Lisa was the recipient of many national awards for her advocacy work. In 1996, she received the first Public Service Award presented by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) for her efforts to educate others about the effectiveness of methadone treatment. In 2006, she received the Johnson Institute's Award, America Honors Recovery. And this past fall, she received the Richard Lane and Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award at the American Association of Opiate Addiction Treatment Conference (AATOD).

Her most recent work was the article on Recovery Orientated Methadone Maintenance co-authored with William L. White, M.A.

FAVOR will be creating a page on their website to commemorate her life and incredible contributions to our recovery advocacy movement. Please email Whitney O’Neil at with any pictures, stories or remembrances that you would like to share.

You can read William White's interview with Lisa at:
Lisa's Interview

The paper by William White and Lisa Mojer-Torres Recovery Oriented Methadone Maintenance can be downloaded at:

The family strongly suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Lisa's memory be made to Hospital at the University of the Pennsylvania, Ovarian Cancer Research, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA. 19104.