CoveCare Center has announced the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Diane E. Russo, effective January 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, Chairperson Sal Gambino said, “Diane has guided the agency through 20 years of growth and success, positioning CoveCare Center as a leader in providing quality mental health and substance use treatment and prevention services to those in need. We thank her for her many years of dedication to the agency and her steadfast belief that recovery is possible for all.”
Ms. Russo began her career with CoveCare Center as Associate Executive Director in 1998, became the Executive Director of the agency in 2010, and was named Chief Executive Officer in 2015. Responsible for the overall leadership and management of the organization, corporate development, business operations and strategy, Ms. Russo has kept CoveCare Center and Putnam County in the forefront of New York State behavioral healthcare initiatives.
Under Ms. Russo’s leadership, CoveCare Center has partnered with Coordinated Behavioral Health Services Independent Practice Association, whose shared goal is to provide exceptional and cost-effective healthcare to the Hudson Valley region. CoveCare Center has also partnered with CareMount Medical, St. Christopher’s Inn, and Brewster Head Start, and has formed an affiliation with the Mental Health Association in Putnam. “Diane is a wonderful advocate for those in need. I admire her steadfast dedication to the community and her commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable among us while demonstrating leadership, compassion, and kindness to everyone she meets,” stated Megan Castellano, Executive Director of MHA in Putnam.
Ms. Russo was recently presented with the Sid Gibson IMAGINE Award at CoveCare Center’s 2018 Dinner Dance, an award that celebrates those who have dared to imagine a world where everyone has hope for wellness and recovery. She was also the recipient of the 2016 Putnam Community Services Network Distinguished Service Award for an Individual, and in 2018, Ms. Russo was presented with the Rabbi Solomon B. Acrish Humanitarian Award in recognition of her exemplary leadership, dedication, compassion and kindness in seeking to improve the lives of those with mental health and substance use issues in the Lower Hudson Valley. Also this year, Ms. Russo was honored by The Prevention Council of Putnam with the Bronze Key Award, a national recognition award granted by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the field of substance abuse prevention.
“It has been an honor to have worked with the dedicated and compassionate staff of CoveCare Center. I have complete confidence that CoveCare Center will continue to thrive and provide hope for wellness and recovery to all who enter its doors,” said Ms. Russo.
Ms. Russo holds a Master of Science Degree in Counseling and Human Development and is a NYS Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor as well as a Board Certified Coach. She plans on coaching women in leadership positions.