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CAT honors trio of women who help other women get in recovery

Friday April 26, 2019


CINCINNATI (April 26, 2019) – The Center for Addiction Treatment (CAT) held its 8th Annual Pancake Breakfast today, an event that launched the public phase of its Lead the Change campaign.

The primary goal of Lead the Change is to add much-needed addiction treatment capacity for women. Once the campaign is completed, CAT’s all-female unit will expand by 15 detox beds, which means more than 500 women will have an opportunity for addiction treatment in 2020.

Funds raised under the campaign also will be allocated to retrofitting and remodeling four nursing stations, to completely renovating bathrooms and to updating dorm rooms for all patients.

Highlighting the breakfast fundraiser festivities, CAT presented its Starfish Award to three Cincinnati women for the leadership they’ve shown in getting women into substance abuse treatment and recovery.

One of the three Starfish honorees, Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus, served as the keynote speaker for the breakfast. Denise is a champion of legislation and moving barriers that stand in the way of treatment. She has worked to pass laws relating to combatting the opioid crisis, improving education and job creation. Additionally, Denise has collaborated with other lawmakers to secure state funding for economic and neighborhood development projects in Hamilton County.

Honoree Lisa Johnson, a Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) officer, was celebrated by CAT for her community oriented work over the past 28 years in law enforcement. Lisa worked extensively with Women Helping Women to address domestic violence. She is passionate about promoting public awareness of substance abuse, making her a prominent figure in Cincinnati neighborhoods as an advocate for residents who are most in need.

Honoree Annie Faragher Bennett has helped change the lives of women suffering from addiction. Annie founded First Step Home, a residential treatment facility for women that allows their children to live with them while they rebuild their lives. The facility serves recovering alcoholics and addicts. Annie has helped close the gap between needs and services in the Cincinnati area and made her goals into reality. People have depended on Annie for years and her efforts have inspired women to get help even when little help was available.

“CAT’s mission is to save lives and rebuild families,” said CAT President Sandi Kuehn. “We are so very pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the work of three women who continue to have a positive impact on the lives of women (and men) struggling with an addiction,” she said. “Expanding treatment opportunities for women at CAT furthers our mission and supports the efforts of our honorees and we appreciate the community’s financial support in our efforts.”   


McKenna Brooks