Jill Williams, MD
Medical Director and Co-Founder
Jill Williams, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Division of Addiction Psychiatry and a national expert in treating tobacco dependence in people with behavioral health problems. Dr. Williams is the recipient of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Career Development Award (K23), entitled Nicotine Dependence Treatment in Psychiatric Comorbidity. Dr. Williams currently conducts research to study pharmacological and psychosocial treatments to help patients with schizophrenia quit smoking.
Patricia Dooley, MA, LPC, CTTS
Patricia Dooley, MA, LPC, CTTS joined the CHOICES team in 2010 as Program Director. Trish has a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, as well as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. Trish has been the clinician for a number of clinical trials specific to various medications and behavioral therapies for tobacco dependence in the SMI population in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry. In her new role, Trish will manage many of the day to day operations and help to organize the CHOICES team.
Advocacy Director and Co-Founder
Marie Verna is a Senior Training and Consultation Specialist at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare’s Center for Excellence in Psychiatry (CFEP) where she develops and delivers wellness and recovery curricula to champion teams at behavioral health organizations nationwide. She works with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in developing a Wellness Action Plan and with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services (NJ-DMHS) to promote the integration of physical healthcare with mental healthcare. Prior to the CFEP, Marie was the Director of Advocacy at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey , where she prioritized the development of policy concerning tobacco cessation, the education of consumers about the risks of smoking, the discriminatory and critical shortage of tobacco-cessation services and feasible recommendations for addressing wellness.
Liaison to NJ Division of Mental Health Services
Margaret Molnar is the Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs to the NJ Division of Mental Health Services. Margaret is very committed to the needs of consumers and works with the Division of Mental Health Services on a variety of projects dedicated to improving Wellness and Recovery in persons with mental illness.
CHOICES CONSUMER TOBACCO ADVOCATES
Wayne Holland is an artist and musician. His interest in CHOICES follows from having lost many loved ones to smoking and being a former smoker himself. He particularly enjoys meeting people, sharing his experience with quitting smoking and providing hope to other consumers that it is possible to address tobacco use.
Click here to read for the newly released Key Assistance Report, "Focus on Smoking Cessation," published by the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse. The article features New Jersey 's CHOICES program, and Consumer Tobacco Advocate Wayne Holland, as the only consumer-run tobacco cessation education program in the country.
Yasmin Halim has always been interested in health. Her interest turned to consumer advocacy after attending MHANJ's Consumer Connections. As a supporter of the wellness and recovery approach to mental illness she believes addressing tobacco dependence is an essential part of the physical health component of recovery. She feels mental health consumers must advocate for themselves if they are to receive the services they deserve.
Deidre is an ex-smoker who attributes her success to attendance at support groups, use of the website, www.njquitnet.com, and the use of nicotine replacement therapy. She started attending Dr. Williams’ quit smoking support group over 3 years ago. She made many (8) attempts at stopping smoking before this last successful quit attempt. She has finally stopped for good this time. Quitting smoking has enabled her to live a much healthier lifestyle, which includes working out at a gym and eating healthy foods. Deidre is interested in speaking to consumers and helping them quit smoking and live healthier lives. It can be done, and Deidre is here to prove it!