Recovery efforts in Idaho would not be successful without the important leadership, passion, and hard work of some tireless people in communities around the state. Those individuals were honored and recognized today at a celebration of recovery awareness in the Lincoln Auditorium at the State Capitol.
Idaho named its first Champion of Recovery as well as Advocates for Recovery from around the state. They all were nominated by their communities.
Champion Darrell Keim was chosen for his work in the “development, formation and realization of the Latah Recovery Center in Moscow.” His nomination called him “the face of the recovery community in our rural college community.”
“I’m deeply honored by the recognition,” Keim said. “Our whole committee has worked hard on this project.”
The Latah Recovery Center opened in September 2015.
“Success speaks for itself,” his nomination says. “The center is volunteer-run under Darrell’s guidance as director. They provide multiple group experiences offered by volunteers from the community. An average of 14-20 group offerings per week is not unusual. Darrell has built relationships throughout the community and offers groups covering budget, art, wellness, yoga, journaling and crochet to mention a few. These are all designed to help individuals address their needs, but also develop new skills to ensure sustaining stability.
“Darrell works tirelessly on the recovery process,” the nomination says. “As a result of his efforts, the Latah Recovery Center is a well-respected member of the community in Moscow.”
Advocates for Recovery also were nominated by the behavioral health boards in several regions throughout the state. They are:
Angela Palmer, from Region 1
Angela is the Substance Abuse Treatment Program Director for Sequel Alliance Services in northern Idaho. She also serves on the State Behavioral Health Planning Council and is a local member of the Region 1 Behavioral Health Board.
“She has generously volunteered her time and efforts for a number of years to promote awareness of substance use disorder issues,” the nomination form says. It also cites her work as the chairwoman of the recovery center sub-committee: “She has worked tirelessly over the past year to bring funding and approval for a recovery center to Region 1.”
Tom Stroschein, from Region 2
Tom is currently retired, but he has been a lifelong advocate for behavioral health. He served many years as a Latah County commissioner as well as a member of the Regional Behavioral Health Board. When Idaho was researching recovery centers as a possible option here, he was part of the group that traveled east to learn about the Connecticut model, which was later adopted as model for Idaho’s recovery centers. He is an original member and driving force for Recovery Idaho.
“Even in retirement, he is active in his community and can be seen attending meetings, providing feedback and support for the Latah Recovery Center,” his nomination says.
Joy Husmann, from Region 3
Joy currently works as the community liaison for Intermountain Hospital in Boise. Her nomination cites her tireless work on recovery events over the years, as well as her obvious passion in helping people pursue recovery.
“She has always been a great advocate and integral coordinator for the service providers, administrative personnel, board members, county commissioners, DHW staff, IDOC staff, DJC staff, and all of the connecting parts that make up the vast network that has to work together in order to effectively deliver the care that the members of our community need to seek out their recoveries.”
Monica Forbes, from Region 4
Monica is the executive director of the Peer Wellness Center in Boise, which opened in June 2015. She helped create the center’s board of directors and its advisory board, and she also recruits the volunteers needed to run the program.
She also has been active and instrumental in creating recovery-oriented events and was recently accepted as a member of the Region 4 Behavioral health Board. She is also a certified Recovery Coach and has been in recovery herself for more than 10 years.
“She has spent countless hours working to create a variety of programs within the center as well as community events in order to promote public awareness and education about recovery from mental illness and addiction. She shows tremendous passion to promote recovery in our region to the public and to stakeholders.”
Betty Roberts, from Region 5
Betty, who recently celebrated her “29 years clean birthday,” is known for her passion and commitment to helping others pursue recovery. She leads recovery meetings, attends graduations for Drug Court where she is often a sponsor. She is a model for women in recovery.
“Betty R. has been asked to speak and has followed through with speaking engagements in recovery conferences locally, nationally, and world-wide,” her nomination says. “Betty R. seems to go beyond just talking. She walks the walk of someone who knows how to live recovery and live life on life’s terms. She models recovery to anyone who sees her. She teaches recovery to anyone who will listen. She lives recovery daily.”
Sandy Baiocco, from Region 7
Sandy has been an active Behavioral Health Board member and was integral in helping the board partner with Eastern Idaho Public Health. She has participated in the implementation of the Children’s Mental Health Community Engagement Project events happening in six communities in Region 7.
“Sandy is a true champion when it comes to improving the recovery process, services, and supports someone needs on their individual journey of recovery,” her nomination says.
“The true impact Sandy has made on our community and for those in recovery has been invaluable, but the most exciting thing is that her efforts will be felt for many years to come and it has changed the trajectory, for the better, for individuals, family members and others who are in recovery for behavioral health issues. Regardless of any nominations, awards or accolades, Sandy is a hero in our communities and we are ever grateful of her efforts.”