2020 Annual Awards Ceremony

When we postponed our annual Spring Awards Luncheon, we had high hopes that, by June, we would be able to come together in person to recognize this year’s honorees. However, the challenges and risks presented by COVID-19 have prompted us to explore other options. Join us NCADA as we virtually recognize each of this year’s recipients and the remarkable contributions they are making to the field of substance use.

The 2020 Pioneer Award: Dr. Fred Rottnek



NCADA’s 2020 Pioneer Award goes to Dr. Fred Rottnek. Dr. Rottnek is a Professor and the Director of Community Medicine at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Physician Assistant Program. He is a graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission Program at Aquinas Institute of Theology.

His clinical practices have included correctional healthcare, homeless healthcare, community clinics, and addiction medicine. He teaches in the School of Medicine, the PA Program, the Interprofessional Education Program, and the Center for Health Law Studies. Board-Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, he is the Medical Director for the Assisted Recovery Centers of American (ARCA). He serves on the boards of the Saint Louis Regional Health Commission, Alive and Well Communities, and the ARCHway Institute. Dr. Rottnek is the Program Director of the Saint Louis University Addiction Medicine Fellowship.

Watch Dr. Rottnek’s Award Acceptance

The 2020 Service Award: Ron Moser & Janet Eto



NCADA’s 2020 Service Award goes to Ron Moser & Janet Eto. Although Ron and Janet graduated together from high school in 1969, they hardly knew each other. In 1983, at their 14-year high school reunion they ended up having dinner and connecting immediately. Neither drank, but for different reasons. Janet simply didn’t like drinking and Ron liked it way too much. He had been clean and sober for a year at the reunion, and they were married a year later.

Janet’s career as a secondary special educator spanned 28-years. After graduating from University of Missouri in 1973, she started her teaching career in Clarksville, MO. After 3-years in Clarksville, she returned to St. Louis and took 2-years off to be a full-time mom before resuming her career with the Special School district. Janet is co-founder of The Next Step, and served as initial president of the board from 2004 – 2008.

After graduating from University of Tulsa in 1973 with a B.S. degree in English Education, Ron moved back to St. Louis with his first wife and son. In July of 1974, he started as a teller trainee at Southern Commercial Bank, a small independent bank. He needed a job, any job, as he had his second child on the way. Originally planning on working there for just 6 months, Ron retired from SCB in 2015.

As an employee of SCB, he was encouraged to be actively involved in the community’s various organization. In 1976 his boss suggested serving on the Carondelet Y.M.C.A. board, and six boards and 44 years later, Ron and Janet are just as active in their service as ever.

Watch Ron and Janet’s Award Acceptance

The 2020 Champion Award: Dr. Nisha Patel



NCADA’s 2020 Champion Award goes to Dr. Nisha Patel. Dr. Patel was born in Kenya and moved to the United States in her early years as her parents believed in the education she would receive here. She was raised to believe that hard work, determination, excellence in all that you do, and building relationships based on mutual respect and trust for every person is the cornerstone of success.

Dr. Patel graduated from the University of Kansas and is a proud Jayhawk. She earned her Ed.D in Administrative Leadership from Maryville University in 2012. In addition, she holds masters degrees in Science Education from the University of Kansas and in Administration from Missouri Baptist University.

She began her career in education in Kansas City in 1999 working as a high school science teacher in Kansas City, Kansas and later in the Rockwood School District. Her administrative roles in Rockwood included assistant principal at Eureka High, associate principal of Lafayette High and building principal of Crestview Middle School. In 2016, Dr. Patel joined the Fox C-6 community as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, and in 2019 was named superintendent of the Fox C-6 School District.

Dr. Patel is committed to making student-centered decisions and believes in her heart that anything is possible for our kids. The role of an educator is to provide students with every opportunity we can to ensure their continued success in college, career and life. A few years ago, she developed a personal mission statement, which she tries to live by daily, “Through my actions, empower others to help change the world!” Her theme at Fox C-6 is that all students enter with a promise and leave with a purpose.

Watch Dr. Patel’s Award Acceptance


The 2020 Gateway Award: Hubbard Radio, received by Lern Elwell and Patti Price



NCADA is honored to recognize Hubbard Radio, Lern Elwell, and Patti Price for their exemplary work in raising the public’s awareness of alcohol and other drug issues. At Hubbard Radio St. Louis, they mirror the innovation, values, and community spirit that drive our region. They immerse their consumers in entertainment and local content that dazzle their senses, touch their hearts, and stimulate their minds. Their goal is to extend their reach, create greater efficiency, and further increase passion among their consumers in each new experience.

Lern is an on-air personality at KSHE 95. Her show airs from 2-6 pm Monday through Friday. Patti Price is in sales at Hubbard Radio and is a member of NCADA’s External Affairs Committee. Patti and Lern regularly make use of their unique position to spur open communication and share a message of awareness and promotion of change. Hubbard Radio is an organization of involvement, passion, and support, and everyone at Hubbard strives to be involved and help better our community.

Watch Hubbard Radio’s Award Acceptance



The 2020 Helen B. Madden Award: Victoria Aitken


NCADA is honored to recognize Victoria Aitken for an exceptional career devoted to the treatment of substance use disorders. Accompanying her in the acceptance video is Ida, one of Victoria’s students at St. Louis Community College (STLCC) and the person who nominated her for the award. Victoria has an M.A.Ed. from SLU in Counseling, Individual, Child, and Family Therapy, and holds certificates in Alcohol and Drug Studies programs from both Rutgers and Washington University.

She has taught at STLCC since 1989 and developed coursework related to chemical dependency. Victoria has served as a role model and mentor for many students who have gone on to successful careers in the field.

Victoria has run a private practice since the early nineties, and has worked with individuals, families, and children affected by substance use disorder. She often opens her practice to students as a site for practicums, and provides a dedicated example for Missouri’s future practitioners and counselors.

Watch Victoria Aitken’s Award Acceptance

The 2020 Tasch-Kopolow Scholarship: Brittany Moss


NCADA is honored to recognize Brittany Moss for commitment to achieving excellence in a professional career serving the substance use field. Brittany earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Indiana University in 2017. As an undergraduate, Brittany worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and as a research assistant in a lab focusing on the intersection of psychopathology and substance abuse. Brittany graduated in May with a Master’s degree from Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

At Washington University, Brittany concentrated in mental health, with an emphasis on evidence-based practices used in the treatment of trauma and substance use disorders. She spent her concentration practicum hours at the CAPA Clinic where she was able to become an associate alcohol and drug counselor. Passionate and dedicated, upon graduation Brittany hopes to continue these efforts working as a therapist with a non-profit organization.

Watch Brittany Moss’s Scholarship Award Acceptance

The 2020 Volunteer Award: Joe Brennan


NCADA is honored to recognize Joe Brennan for time, resources, and contributions dedicated to reducing and preventing the harms of alcohol and other drugs. Joe Brennan is the father of two daughters, and has worked at Labors LOC 110 for 35 years. He has been in long-term recovery since July 24, 2005, and started the first Heroin Anonymous Meeting in Missouri in February of 2011. He is committed to providing support for those seeking recovery and their loved ones, and also started Help 4 the Opiate Addicts Parents Exist (HOPE group) in February of 2012. He and his wife Dawna Brennan have been married since December 29, 2019, and work together to provide service for their community. Their motto is, “Trust God, help others.”

Watch Joe Brennan’s Award Acceptance