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2004 David Hancock Award

Bobbi Douglas

Presented by Presbyterians for Addiction Action (PAA)

Bobbi Douglas

Bobbi Douglas

The 2004 David Hancock Award was presented to Bobbi Douglas. She’s the director of STEPS (Substance, Treatment, Education and Prevention Services) in Wooster, Ohio. The award is given for “contributions in the field of addiction prevention, intervention and recovery.”

It’s named for the Rev. David Hancock, a retired Presbyterian minister who was, for many years, a mainstay of PAA and its predecessor organizations and a world recognized authority on addiction.

In her nomination, her pastor, the Rev. Carroll Meyer, stated that Bobbi is a community leader who has been instrumental in getting the community involved in issues related to drug and alcohol abuse through education, awareness and treatment. He said that Bobbi has successfully brought all of these issues to the forefront in Wayne County. She has taken the issues involved with substance abuse from something that the community did not want to deal with, to a sense of concern that helped raise $4 million for a project to house the offices, counseling and week-end treatment facilities for individuals in need of recovery services and domestic violence programs.

Bobbi’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive. Growing from her conviction that her job is primarily one of a community organizer, and that it not only takes a village to raise a child but that a strong community is the most important assist in combating societal problems, she has effectively enlisted coalitions of groups to help secure the resources to deal with addiction issues.  She serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has received several honors for her work.

Among her accomplishments are directing an agency with a staff of 75 located at 12 sites with a budget of $3 million; writing about 25 grant proposals annually which have raised over $2 million from federal, state and local funding sources; providing Drug Free Workplace training to over 600 supervisors; and developing and delivering Student Assistance Program training to 300 school and community members.

She was named a Join Together Award Fellow by the Boston University School of Public Health; was the recipient of an Athena Award by the Wayne County Women’s Network; and was honored with a Women of Achievement Award by the City of Wooster.

Bobbi was raised a Presbyterian and is a graduate of the College of Wooster, a PC(USA)-affiliated college. She credits her upbringing, in both church and community, for leading her to a career in working with those who many find “unlovable.” Her youth programs and her church family were important components in teaching her to care about others and find joy in each day. She has spent her professional career in chemical dependency work and is particularly committed to the prevention field.

Bobbi is a deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church and understands that churches must play a key role in any community, and that comprehensive efforts to combat substance abuse must include the faith community to be successful. Spurred by her leadership, this has happened in her community through the training of clergy and lay leaders, providing programming to church-based educational programs, use of church facilities for programming and the participation of church leaders in community coalitions.

The Rev. Carroll Meyer presented a persuasive case in nominating Bobbi. PAA concurs and is pleased to honor her with the David Hancock Award for 2004.

—Manley Olson, PAA Leadership Team Member