Three MHA Staffers Honored with WMSAPA Service Awards

SPRINGFIELD — MHA’s Alane Burgess, Dallas Clark and Amy Conklin were individually honored by the Western Massachusetts Substance Abuse Providers’ Assoc. (WMSAPA) with service awards, which were presented on June 11 during a WMSAPAmeeting conducted via Zoom.

Alane Burgess, MA, LMHC received the Outstanding Service Award, which is given to a person working in the substance-abuse treatment field. She is the clinic director for MHA’s BestLife Emotional Health & Wellness Center, which provides a wide range of substance-use treatment and recovery services and supports. In the COVID era, when many agencies have struggled just to stay afloat, Burgess has helped fuel the growth of MHA programs, including those delivered via MHA’s TeleWell app, that support people who seek recovery or are in early or sustained recovery.

Dallas Clark received the Michael Donahoe Outstanding Achievement in Recovery Award, which is given to a person who is presently in recovery and doing well. They must have completed one of WMSAPA’s treatment programs and presently be working in the field of addiction treatment, prevention, or intervention. Clark is lead recovery coach for MHA’s Bestlife Emotional Health & Wellness Center, providing guidance and support to individuals in early recovery from the perspective of someone who has faced similar challenges and, through strength and perseverance, moved into stable, long-term recovery.

Amy Conklin, MSW, LCSW, LADC 1 received the Outstanding Service Award, which is given to a person working in the substance-abuse treatment field. She is senior clinical director for MHA’s GRIT Co-occurring Enhanced Residential Rehabilitation Services Program, and is responsible for MHA’s three GRIT Residential Rehabilitation Services programs. At the root of Conklin’s success is her ability to connect with people, seeing them, and hearing them where they are. That connection helps them move forward because they want to, not because someone forces them to, which is a foundation for living successfully in long-term recovery.

“It’s incredibly gratifying when external organizations recognize MHA staff members for the incredibly life-changing efforts they contribute every day in the course of their service to others,” said Cheryl Fasano, president and CEO of MHA. “For Alane, Dallas, and Amy to receive these accolades from WMSAPA speaks volumes about the commitment they bring to their jobs. This is especially true when you factor in the additional challenges that COVID presents to those in treatment or seeking treatment for sustained pathways in recovery.”