On Saturday, November 4, Carrier Clinic® hosted its annual Kindred Spirit Gala at Princeton Marriot at Forrestal. The event was attended by more than 200 people and raised over $130,000 to support the Belle Mead, NJ psychiatric hospital and recovery center’s mission to inspire hope and recovery through expert treatment, education, compassionate care, and outstanding service.
“The Kindred Spirit Gala gives Carrier Clinic the opportunity to honor those who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the field of mental health and addiction,” said Donna Zaleski, Carrier Clinic’s Director of Development, Public Relations & Marketing. “It is an event about bringing together those who believe every person deserves respect, compassion, and the best care possible.”
The 52nd Governor of New Jersey Jim McGreevey was recognized at the event with the Kindred Spirit Award. Through his work as Chairman of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, McGreevey is making a difference in the lives of many, working to provide addiction treatment, sober housing, employment and training, identification services, and linkage to healthcare for formerly incarcerated persons. The clients of NJRC have a 19.7% recidivism rate with an annualized rate of employment of 62%.
Bonnie Nolan, Ph.D. was honored at the event with The Codey Award for her trail-blazing efforts to be a stalwart advocate for individuals who are on the fringes of society because of the stigma of addiction. Dr. Nolan is the Addiction Services Coordinator in Woodbridge Township. She has teamed up with Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac and other passionate leaders to combat the opioid epidemic by implementing the Woodbridge Opioid Overdose Recovery Program in three area hospitals. Through this program, recovery coaches who have “lived the life” of a person struggling with addiction, are notified by police and dispatched to the bedside of a patient who has just experienced an opioid overdose and been saved by Narcan. Early success of the program has led to other surrounding towns to join – now the program serves six area hospitals and five towns, with more continuing to sign on.
“We are so grateful to the support of the honorees, attendees, sponsors, and our community,” said Zaleski. “The funds raised will provide life-changing care to our patients – and their families.”