Conley retires; Thompson new OCA director

Posted on: December 29, 2015 2:00 pm

Donna Conley, the first executive director of Ohio Citizen Advocates for Addiction Recovery, has retired after a long and successful career in social services, prevention and recovery.

Conley was a behavioral health leader in Madison County for many years early in her career. After working within the child welfare and health and human services system, she became director of the prevention coalition in that county. Upon the dissolution of the coalition, she assumed the leadership role of the private Ohio Credentialing Board (OCB) in the early 2000s before that organization's role was assumed by state government and the newly created Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.

Conley and the board of the OCB transitioned that organization into an entity with a focus on the addiction continuum with a particular emphasis on recovery, renamed Ohio Citizen Advocates. OCA championed individuals in recovery, implementing recovery coach training, and networking with national organizations to advance recovery initiatives and communities.

"Donna has been a trailblazer for recovery in Ohio and a valuable member of our state's behavioral health care community" said Jim Ryan, executive director of ADAPAO. "Her background in both prevention and recovery is rare and has been an immense asset to Ohio. Donna's expertise and commitment will be missed.

Sarah Thompson, who previously worked as an advocate with the Ohio Physicians Health Program, has assumed the executive director role.