FHR's Joe Dziobek honored with National Council award

Published 03/04/2013

FHR’s President and CEO recognized with Visionary Leadership honor by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Lincoln, RI – March 4, 2013 – The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council) has selected Joe Dziobek, President and CEO of FHR (Fellowship Health Resources) as a recipient of its prestigious Awards of Excellence. Honored as a Visionary Leader, Dziobek is deeply committed to his field, a noted entrepreneur and successful risk-taker who has worked tirelessly to support FHR's mission for nearly 40 years. His receipt of this award and recognition by his peers acknowledges Dziobek's outstanding leadership in the behavioral health field, and honors his innovative and inspirational efforts.

“Joe has provided FHR with quiet, yet transformational leadership since 1975,” said FHR Board of Directors Chairperson William Emmet. “This recognition by the National Council acknowledges his powerful voice on the national stage.”

The National Council, composed of 1,950 member organizations, serves more than eight million individuals across the country suffering from mental illness and addiction disorders. Acting as a forceful advocate for healthcare policies, the association ensures that those in need have access to comprehensive services. As our country continues a national conversation on mental illness and President Obama advances an ambitious mental health agenda for the nation, organizations like the National Council and FHR play a role that is more crucial than ever.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive such a prestigious award from the National Council, an organization that I value greatly. I gladly accept the award on behalf of FHR and its colleagues, board members, and those who benefit from our support,” said Dziobek.

Headquartered in Lincoln, Rhode Island, FHR is a nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency providing clinical and support services to persons recovering from mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and other life challenges. With programs in seven states, FHR assists nearly 3,500 individuals every year in improving their behavioral health, well-being, and quality of life. During Dziobek's 38-year tenure, the organization has grown from $1 million in annual revenue to over $33 million.

A member of the National Council since 2004, Dziobek embraces the council’s values and mission through his leadership, vision, and ideals. He strongly believes that everyone has the ability to improve their lives, if given the right opportunities. His motto, “we never give up on anybody,” is clearly embodied throughout FHR’s holistic programs and services aimed at supporting the healing and recovery of individuals.

Upon graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in psychology, Dziobek sought employment where he could be of service to others and make a difference. He began working for FHR in 1975 as a Mental Health Counselor at Westwick House, a residential group program in Rhode Island. In 1980, he expanded the agency’s services to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he started Fellowship Lodge, patterned after the renowned Found House Clubhouse model. Dziobek became Director of Programs in 1983 and President/CEO in 1984. During this period, he is credited with the expansion of 74 FHR programs in seven states.

During his career, Joe has faced a number of challenges, leading FHR through numerous critical transformations. One of the early turning points in his career occurred in the 1990s when FHR lost funding for its programs in Worcester and South Central Massachusetts. Many board members and staff were unsure if FHR could recover. Dziobek, determined to not leave individuals dependent on FHR's services, approached to bid on services in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Upon winning these contracts, FHR further expanded into these states, and later expanded to Maine and North Carolina.

While serving as CEO, Dziobek also made pivotal decisions, establishing departments to provide staff and persons served with comprehensive support. These accomplishments include:  FHR's Department of Health and Wellness, including the David L. Taton Learning Institute, the Office of Peer Recovery Services, and Studio 35, an innovative healing arts and recovery program. Most recently, he has lead FHR through a strategic planning process, focusing on the expansion of children's mental health services and the integration of physical and behavioral health services. This extension of services will ensure FHR’s readiness to meet new changes due to the Affordable Care Act.

“FHR's Board, staff, consumers, and program partners all agree that Joe is a unique leader, never losing sight of what brought him to the work that he does. His genuine compassion for people we serve, all FHR employees, and the entire behavioral healthcare system is admirable and inspiring,” added Pamela Daisey, FHR Interim COO.

"A visionary leader needs others to share and implement a vision or it never materializes,” Dziobek shared. “Having a career with FHR and working with talented and committed individuals, learning important lessons from the people who have sought our help along the way, has allowed this vision to become a reality.”