Press Release

Access: Supports for Living Foundation Announces Honorees for 2019 Gala & Vision of Hope Awards

HUDSON VALLEY, NY – The Access: Supports for Living Foundation Inc. will honor Dr. Lisa Dixon and Mike Oates at its annual gala and Vision of Hope Awards on November 16, 2019. The Vision of Hope Award is given each year to individuals or organizations whose work exemplifies and forwards the mission of Access: Supports for Living – to help people live the healthiest and fullest lives possible.

Dr. Lisa Dixon is the Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center where she directs the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research and the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She leads OnTrackNY, an innovative, evidence-based practice to intervene at the first episode of serious mental illness in young adults 16 to 30 years old. OnTrackNY is based on the premise that, with intensive, early interventions, recovery is not only the hope, but the expectation. Access is proud to be one of only two providers of this treatment in the Hudson Valley.

Also receiving the Vision of Hope Award that evening is Mike Oates, President and CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC), which recently announced its intent to merge with the Westchester County Association. HVEDC is the Hudson Valley’s leading economic development organization and serves as a comprehensive resource for businesses relocating to or expanding within the region. The organization also works to attract well-paying jobs and connect people with disabilities to job opportunities. Mr. Oates has not only shown a steadfast commitment to promote employment for people with disabilities, but is prioritizing the creation of these employment opportunities as a vital part of the Hudson Valley’s economic development strategy.

Nick Preddice, Chair of the Access: Supports for Living Foundation said, “The work of the Access: Supports for Living Foundation increases the impact of Access services by building connections. We are proud to celebrate the achievements of Dr. Dixon and Mr. Oates at this year’s Gala. Through their work, both create opportunities for wellness and employment for people with disabilities and demonstrate that each person should be valued for their unique abilities and contributions.”

“Though their work is worlds apart, their goals are aligned in creating boundless possibilities for people with complex needs,” said Amy Anderson-Winchell, President of Access: Supports for Living. “Mike Oates has been an integral part of creating connections throughout the Hudson Valley that promote employment for people with disabilities. Dr. Dixon’s research and work has made an immeasurable impact by giving young people experiencing mental illness what we all hope for – a future with boundless potential.

Dr. Lisa Dixon said, ““The kind of early interventions facilitated by the work of OnTrackNY makes a real, tangible difference in lives in communities throughout New York State.” Said Dr. Dixon. “On behalf of the entire OnTrackNY team I am honored to accept this award.”

Mike Oates said, ““In my role at HVEDC, I’ve made it a priority to advance persons with disabilities, to find them vital roles in our workforce. Access: Supports for Living provides the opportunities and training to a key part of our community. I am honored to receive this award.”

“This year’s gala will be a wonderful celebration of how a greater impact is created when the work of one amazing leader builds upon another,” said Ron Colavito, Chief Executive Officer of Access: Supports for Living.

Tom Buchanan, Access: Supports for Living Board Chair said, “Each year, our Vision of Hope honorees exemplify the mission of Access, to help people live the healthiest and fullest lives possible. This year’s honorees are no exception. Through their work, Dr. Dixon and Mr. Oates are creating hope and belief in a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their dreams.”

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or more information, contact Patti Archiere at 845-673-7127 or

Dr. Lisa Dixon


Mike Oates

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