Annual Aquila Recovery Jubilee and Awards Dinner

The Annual Recovery Jubilee is a dinner and program highlighting the work and goals of the Aquila Recovery Foundation and focusing on a major contributor in advocating for mainstreaming addiction attention and care in our society.

The foundation serves a calling many of us have shared for some time: implementing collaboration between primary care professionals and the addiction recovery field. As an adjunct to Aquila Recovery Clinic, we also provide scholarships for treatment, filling holes in coverage for individuals in trying circumstances.

The dinner is in May every year and features an individual who has contributed significantly to advocating on behalf of the recovery community and the millions of American families who experience addiction disease and recovery.

Past honorees at the Annual Aquila Recovery Foundation Awards Dinner and Recovery Celebration:

2018: Dr. Andrea Barthwell
2017: Tom Coderre
2016: Micheal Botticelli
2015: Greg Williams
2014: Carol McDaid


Special Guest: Paul Williams
Honoree: Carol McDaid

Carol McDaid, Co-founder and Principal at Capitol Decisions, Inc., is being honored for her policy work that advances “mainstreaming” addiction treatment into the general healthcare field. She served as strategist and advisor to the Parity NOW Coalition, which was influential in the passage of the 2008 Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

This landmark legislation requires insurers to treat addiction, mental, and physical health problems equally. The Coalition work also pushed for addiction and mental health benefits to be included in the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

A veteran Washington lobbyist, McDaid is a founder and former president of Faces and Voices of Recovery. In addition to playing a leading role in passing parity legislation for addiction and mental health, she has managed many policy and legislative achievements that have advanced public understanding and care within America’s health system.

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Special Guest: William Cope Moyers
Honoree: Greg Williams

GREG WILLIAMS, Executive Director of Unite to Face Addiction, is a person in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs since age seventeen. He is a health policy advocate and award-winning documentary filmmaker who specializes in the creation of compelling and purposeful content.

At age 31, “The Anonymous People” is Greg’s first independent feature-length film. This film seeks to bring to the screen lasting solutions for one of America’s top health problems. After a large grassroots theatrical release in 2013 and 2014, the film continues to be shown in communities around the world. “The Anonymous People” has already received widespread critical acclaim and a variety of industry awards.

The documentary’s success has spawned a national movement to create a greater public understanding and support of mainstreaming addiction health – a key mission of the Aquila Recovery Foundation. Under Williams’ leadership, Unite to Face Addiction is managing a national rally and benefit concert on October 4, 2015, on the Mall in Washington, DC. This will be the first event of its kind to focus our nation on the addiction crisis, and to ignite and mobilize a movement to solve the most pressing health issue of our time.

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Special Guest: Tara Conner
Honoree: Michael Botticelli

As Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli leads the Obama Administration’s drug policy efforts, which are based on a balanced public health and public safety approach.

Mr. Botticelli has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder for more than 26 years. He has encouraged the millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard and confront the stigma associated with substance use disorders.

Prior to joining ONDCP, he served as Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Born in Upstate New York, Mr. Botticelli holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College and a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence University.

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Honoree: Dr. Andrea Barthwell

Dr. Andrea Barthwell took the podium and looked around at the tables packed with people. Aquila’s 2018 Mainstreaming Award winner, she ordinarily makes presentations with overheads and power points in her professional work as a widely renowned physician recovery advocate, she said.

But here, at the fourth annual Aquila Banquet, devoid of technology, all she needed to do was to speak sincerely from the heart for 10 minutes. “Well, we’ll see how it goes!” she said, smiling.

And then she began to tell the crowd about her family of three children and especially her supportive husband, David. “He tolerated every decision I have made throughout my career. I never had to worry. He was a very steady partner, “ she said of her husband, who is also a doctor. “My kids say you could set your watch by him coming home from work.” He tolerated all her decisions, she said, all but one – the decision to be an alcoholic. And when he told her to “change your ways or change your address,” she said, she made a decision that saved her marriage and changed her life. “He was worth it,” she said.

She then told the crowd how proud she was to be included in the company with Aquila’s other award winners: Greg Williams, a documentary film maker focusing on addiction; Michael Botticelli, the former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Tom Coderre, former Democratic state senator from R.I. and a leader in the field of addiction recovery; and Carol McDaid, policy director for Unite to Face Addiction and a well-known addiction recovery advocate.

She then outlined how Johnny Allem came up with the idea for a screening tool to help alcoholics recognize their problem, the Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT.) This tool can be used by doctors to address addiction with patients, she said.

She said alcoholics need a place “where you find your authentic self and you develop emotional confidence, learning how to make and create healthy relationships” – a place such as Aquila. “This is a tremendous honor tonight,” she said.

Dr. Barthwell was once a deputy director at the White House Office of National Drug Policy under President George W. Bush. Currently she is the medical director of Encounter Medical Group PC and the founder and CEO of Two Dreams, a comprehensive treatment center with locations in North Carolina, Chicago and New Orleans.

The banquet also featured several former Aquila clients now in recovery – Damian Cook, who served as the master of ceremonies – “Buckle your invisible seatbelt, because I don’t know where we’re headed,” he said with a mischievous grin

View Gallery For 2018