June’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Fellow of the Month is Dorothy Hillaire, a licensed social worker and currently President of the Ohio affiliate of The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC). She is the performance improvement coordinator and trauma therapist at the Hitchcock Center for Women, where she works with addicted young adult women—many of whom have children and are escaping human trafficking. Ms. Hillaire was a NAADAC MFP Fellow during her MSW studies at the University of Akron School of Social Work, from January 2016 through May 2017, with a specialization in addiction counseling.
“The Minority Fellowship Program made a big difference in my life,”she said. “The mentorship and being able to connect with other professionals and experts were crucial to my development as a trauma-informed care provider.” Most of her clients—women between the ages of 18 and 28 years old with young children—are seeking help after experiencing major trauma in human trafficking networks. The Hitchcock Center is a residential treatment center that allows these women to bring their children with them. The center typically houses 58 to 75 women—many of whom are there for extended stays.
Ms. Hillaire grew up in the state of Washington and traveled to Tokyo, Japan, to earn her bachelor’s degree in comparative culture at Sophia University. She completed a certificate as a chemical dependency professional at Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon, Washington, before moving to Ohio and earning her MSW. She served as secretary of the Ohio Association of Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction Counselors (OAADAC) before becoming its president. At the Hitchcock Center, she is responsible for data collection, implementing the agency’s service plan, the performance improvement plan, evaluation of services, surveys, supervision, and outcomes assessments. She also oversees grievance procedures and provides group therapy, individual counseling, and treatment planning, among other responsibilities.
The former MFP Fellow finds her work challenging and rewarding. As a mother of a six-year-old son, she understands the plight of the traumatized mothers who enter the Hitchcock Center, known by many as a place of healing. She plans to continue working with women in Cleveland. “I credit the NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program with guiding me and helping me develop the skills to work with the women and families suffering with substance use disorders and trauma [who] I am dedicated to serving,” she said.