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June 25, 2013

Veteran substance abuse counselor retires

(Continued)

MT. VERNON — —

In addition to the substance abuse program, JCCS also helps the developmentally disabled find work, operates a mental health counseling program, and provides aid to senior citizens.

All of us are going to be affected in some way throughout the agency,” Fradelos said of the Affordable Care Act. “We've struggled over the years early on to meet payroll and then we became a very self-sustaining facility for a long, long time. Our agency was doing very well. And now we're back into some more challenging times.”

John Metcalf retired as director of the JCCS rehab division in 2005, and worked with Fradelos throughout her time at the facility. He said Fradelos played an instrumental role in the growth of the substance abuse program over the years.

Everything happened on time and right,” Metcalf said of Fradelos' work. “During her leadership of the substance abuse program here, it grew immensely.”

Dan Boehmer, executive director of JCCS, said Fradelos and her staff have accomplished a great deal while serving the organization.

He added that certain myths about rehab need to be dispelled, and that everyone should understand how important the service is. It's not only young people in their early 20s who run into trouble with substance abuse. Often, it's people in their 30s who have families and good jobs, but that need some help to turn their lives around, Boehmer said.

It just amazes everybody of the really truly life-changing things that happen when people come through rehab here,” Boehmer said.

Fradelos said she decided to retire because it “felt like it was time.” She looks forward to traveling and spending time with family.

I don't want to have a schedule,” she said.

Fradelos lives in Mt. Vernon with her husband, Conn. She has two grown children and four grandchildren.

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