Photo: Case Manager Justin Rumbo, Weekend Counselor Lisa Hale, Collegiate Case Manager Amanda Antonini and Collegiate Program Director Mary Azar, among other La Hacienda staff, were present for the Town Hall Meeting at TAAP 2019.
One of the examples of teamwork that we’re recognizing in September during Recovery Month is coordination among members of the treatment profession.
Fittingly, 800 counselors and other substance use disorder professionals from across the state filled the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio on Sept. 5-7 for the 45th annual conference of the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals (TAAP).
La Hacienda was well represented. In addition to counselors attending the the conference, the Business Development Office set up an exhibit—one of about 60 organizations and programs from around the country represented.
It was a popular gathering spot. More than a few TAAP members who stopped by were former La Hacienda staff and patients, now working with other agencies and institutions.
State of the Industry
Inside the plenary hall, Outpatient Services Administrator Sherri Layton—the TAAP president-elect—was involved with arrangements including keynote speakers, award presentations, and state-of-the industry reports.
Addressing state legislative action enforcing the 2008 federal legislation for equal insurance coverage for substance use disorders and mental health, Layton said, “Texas is paying attention to the parity issues. We were slow to get started but have been one of the more proactive states in the past two years.”
Speakers at the national level expressed concerns about meeting the criminal justice and treatment needs caused by the much-publicized opioid crisis.
There were also warnings about legalizing marijuana use. A“marijuana tsunami” is coming said, Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, executive director for NAADAC, the National Association for Addiction Professionals.
Honoring Members’ Work
The annual TAAP conference also is a time for honoring members’ efforts and presenting scholarships to students working toward certification or degrees.
Sherri, who was inducted last year into the TAAP Hall of Fame, introduced this year’s inductee, Charlie McMordie, a counselor in private practice with the Addiction Specialty Group in Amarillo.
Another function of the annual gathering is providing continuing education for counselors. In addition to clinical issues, there were 90-minute sessions which focused on prevention and criminal justice.
After the 2019 conference, Sherri became TAAP president, an office she will hold for two years. In that office she succeeds Scott Kelley, president of Summer Sky Treatment Center in Stephenville.
Her duties will include presiding over TAAP meetings, its executive committee, and its board of directors. She will also represent TAAP publicly.
TAAP is the state affiliate of NAADAC. It seeks to promote advancement of the profession by uniting counselors throughout Texas. It sponsors legislative initiatives, promotional campaigns, and professional networking opportunities.
The association also advocates for licensing and certification standards of qualified counselors to ensure competency and assure a high order of professional standards and ethics in the profession.
TAAP has 900 members in 11 local chapters around the state, including a newly chartered chapter in Commerc.
Next year’s TAAP conference will be Sept. 10-12 at the same location.