Honorees

Armand R. Cerbone, Ph.D., ABPP

Leader in comprehensive psychological care, advocate and leader for mental health and LGBTQ issues

Armand R Cerbone is a board certified psychologist in independent practice on Chicago’s Northside where he treats many LGBTQ individuals and couples.  In the late 1970’s he was among the first openly gay psychotherapists to advocate and offer appropriate and affirmative care for LGBT clients when there was little to be found.   He became a leader in mobilizing psychology in Chicago, Illinois, and the nation to educate psychologists and psychotherapists to the special needs of sexual and gender minorities, especially during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In 1996 he founded the Sexual Orientation Section of the Illinois Psychological Association and became its first openly gay president in 2004.  While president, he effected IPA commitments to pursue mandatory continuing education and prescriptive authority for Illinois psychologists.  Both were signed into law in 2009 and 2014 respectively. 

In 2000 he co-authored the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Professional Practice Guidelines for Psychotherapy with LGB Clients.  The guidelines have been translated into several languages and became a model for international psychological associations.  In 2004 he chaired the working group that drafted the APA’s resolutions on same-sex families and relationships.  The resolutions were cited by the California Supreme Court in striking down the ban on gay marriage and again by the U.S. Supreme Court in its marriage equality decision in 2015.

In addition to chairing the first international conference on LGB mental health policy in 2001, he has published and presented over 100 professional presentations on LGBT issues, the effects of minority stigma, and professional ethics.

 Dr. Cerbone is a Fellow of seven divisions of the American Psychological Association where he is a former member of the Board of Directors, past chair of the Ethics Committee, Policy and Planning Board, and president of two divisions.  He has received APA’s highest honors for member contributions and legislative advocacy.  He is a member of the City of Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

 

Dan Bigg

Co-Founder, and Director of the Chicago Recovery Alliance

Dan Bigg, CRADC, worked in the addictions field for over thirty years.  After working as a methadone counselor and group leader, Dan co-founded the Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA) in 1991 and became Executive Director soon after.  Dan guaranteed that CRA would remain deeply rooted in the basic tenets of harm reduction — especially leadership participation by People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and relationship building as a means of empowering program participants

CRA started as a small needle exchange operating off card tables, the first in Englewood and Uptown and then expanding into one of the largest needle distribution agencies in the country. He conducted a variety of harm reduction services out of a mobile outreach van throughout the Chicagoland area.

During this time, Dan and CRA volunteers developed a non-text-based “Safer Injection/Better Vein Care” guide as a tool to respectfully engage PWUD in safer drug use discussions.  Also, with the help of Stephanie Comer of the Coer Foundation, Dan co-founded the Harm Reduction Coalition.

In 1996, after the overdose death of John Zyler, co-founder and friend, Dan was inspired by program participants to begin distributing naloxone to those who needed it most: PWUD.  Since that year, Dan advocated for the distribution of naloxone to PWUD; family and community members; police and paramedics locally, nationally and internationally, resulting in policy changes throughout the country.

In 2006, at the urging of program participants desiring accessible, respectful, destigmatizing methadone services, Dan and Sarz Maxwell, MD, developed MOST (Mobile Opiate Substitution Therapy).  The successful program lasted two and a half years before bureaucracy and local methadone program politics caused it to close.  However, Dan and Sarz showed that a harm reduction-based mobile methadone program could successfully operate in Chicago if given the chance.

Most recently, Dan was outraged by the lack of accessibility for treatment and care for HCV, particularly among PWUD.  CRA began providing complete HCV testing–both antibody and quantitative–and sought to find ways to provide treatment to those most stigmatized by the medical and insurance industries.

Dan was awarded The Norman E. Zinberg Award for Achievement in the Field of Medicine in 2015 by The Drug Policy Alliance, one of the most influential nonprofit advocates of harm reduction in drug treatment.  In 2017, Dan was named the Chicago Magazine’s Chicagoan of the Year.  The CRA’s harm reduction (HR) program, which began in January 1992, has grown to become one of the largest HR programs in the world. He was a tireless community advocate who pioneered efforts to save lives in Chicago and beyond, and put the health of people who use drugs ahead of all other pursuits.