Region – Charles Faris, cofounder of Spectrum Health Systems, received the Nathaniel Hakim Askia Award, sponsored by the National Library of Addictions, in June.
Dr. P.S. Kishore, along with Boston Public Health Commission board member Ruth Ellen Fitch and community activist Cleo Lachapelle, presented the award, which recognizes individuals who dedicate their work and lives to helping people with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
In 1969 Faris helped cofound Spectrum as a nonprofit organization "dedicated to improving lives through the effective treatment of drug and alcohol addiction." Spectrum has 17 facilities in Massachusetts, including a 16-acre campus in Westborough, and contract services in Maine, Rhode Island, Georgia, Arizona and most recently Tennessee.
The Nathaniel Hakim Askia Award is named after a man who recovered from heroin addiction in the 1960s and subsequently founded the FIRST Academy, a therapeutic community for recovering addicts in Roxbury. Askia was among the first people to address addictions as a community-based issue.