Sadly, IRETA notes the passing of our esteemed colleague, Lisa Mojer-Torres. Lisa passed away on April 5, 2011 after a prolonged struggle with ovarian cancer. We were honored to have worked with her. She was a true inspiration and her unselfish efforts on behalf of those in recovery opened doors, minds and hearts everywhere.
"Through her words, deeds and example, she showed that medication assisted therapy was essential for some and no less a pathway to Recovery... I can only hope that her example inspires others to bring their energy, stories and advocacy into the public forum." H. Westley Clark, M.D., JD, MPH, CAS, FASAM
Lisa Mojer-Torres was an attorney specializing in civil rights and health care law. For the past fifteen years, she represented people who experience discrimination related to addiction. She was nationally recognized as an advocate for "consumers" of substance addiction treatment and recovery services and represented this constituency in many venues. Most recently, she was employed by the Division of Addiction Services for the State of New Jersey. She also worked as a consultant specializing in addiction literacy for identified populations (workforce trainings, credentialing, family/consumer empowerment, criminal justice/drug courts, and others). Lisa was the founding chairperson of Faces and Voices of Recovery, a national organization of people in recovery from addiction which seeks to broaden social understanding and increase support for people in or seeking recovery.
In 2005, Ms. Mojer-Torres participated on her third Institute of Medicine (of the National Academies) Committee, "Crossing the Quality Chasm: Adaptation to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders." This committee's findings, published in "Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance Use Conditions," have become an influential factor in transforming the field of behavioral healthcare. Other memberships included the Committee to Study the Federal Regulation of Methadone Treatment (1993) and the Committee on Community Based Drug Treatment (1997).
Ms. Mojer-Torres's commitment to and work in the recovery field were acknowledged by her peers in 2006 when she received the Johnson Institute's "America Honors Recovery" award. In recognition of her leadership in educating the public about substance abuse treatment and research, she was the first person to be presented by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) with the "Public Service Award." Ms. Mojer-Torres was a graduate of Boston University and New York University School of Law.
We are privileged to have captured a few of Lisa's presentations at a number of our conferences. View her seminal presentation on medication assisted recovery at the 2008 Recovery Symposium by clicking here.