GCASA presents longevity awards to staff, honors longtime doctor

Posted 16 December 2022 at 4:44 pm

Dr. Bruce Baker said he strives to give ‘respect and dignity’ to people being treated for substance use disorders

Provided photo: GCASA honored Dr. Bruce Baker and presented longevity awards at its annual holiday luncheon at Terry Hills Restaurant. Seated from left are Danielle Ludeke, Dr. Baker and Kathy Hodgins. Standing, Rosalie Mangino-Crandall, Carol Nicometo, JoAnn Ryan, Diane Klos, Charlene Grimm, Lori Brade, Jordan Smart and Linda Ackley.

By Mike Pettinella, GCASA Publicist

BATAVIA – 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 GCASA’s medical director.

“Bruce has been a tremendous asset to our agency, helping hundreds of people in their efforts to overcome substance use disorder,” Bennett. “We are fortunate to have had him as part of our team and we wish him the best in his retirement.”

Bennett said that Baker shared his knowledge and compassion in a variety of roles for GCASA, 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 GCASA 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.”

GCASA 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.