By Mike Pettinella
Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse leadership and staff on Wednesday afternoon celebrated Dr. Bruce Baker’s many years of dedicated service to the agency.
Chief Executive Officer John Bennett, at the organization’s annual holiday luncheon, applauded Baker’s work as UConnectCare’s medical director.
Bennett said that Baker shared his knowledge and compassion in a variety of roles for UConnectCare, including medical director, consultant, teacher and general practitioner.
A physician for 60 years, Baker has made an impact throughout Genesee County as a primary care doctor, school physician in Le Roy and Pavilion, medical consultant to the health department and medical director at Le Roy Village Green Health Care Facility.
He has worked in the addiction field for more than 40 years and was an early proponent of Medication Assisted Treatment.
“Dr. Baker recognized early on, especially as the physician at the Genesee County Jail for a quarter of a century and at Hope Haven (inpatient clinic), that individuals who suffered from addiction needed treatment, both medically and therapeutically,” Bennett said.
Dr. Baker thanked UConnectCare for the gift he received, adding that he treasured his time with the agency.
“I’ve made many wonderful friends along the way,” he said, noting that his “mission was to treat those suffering from substance use disorder with respect and dignity.”
UConnectCare management also recognized several employees who reached longevity milestones, led by Chief Financial Officer JoAnn Ryan, who has worked at the agency for 35 years. She said that she plans to retire next year.
Others receiving longevity awards are as follows:
- 25 years — Lori Brade, manager of Billing Operations;
- 20 years — Linda Ackley, residential aide; Kathy Hodgins, chief clinical officer;
- 15 years – Carol Nicometo, prevention educator; Jim Garber, jail services counselor; Charlene Grimm, assistant director of Peer Services.
- 10 years – Diane Klos, prevention secretary;
- 5 years — Danielle Ludeke, outpatient treatment supervisor; Rosalie Mangino-Crandall, director of Project Innovation and Expansion, and Jordan Smart, residential peer.