Behavioral Health Specialist, Summa Health System-Ignatia Hall of Canton

Q: What is the best career advice you ever have been given?
My first mentor Melanie told me that your mental health is like a checkbook, you can only write so many checks before you go bankrupt, without making deposits. It is incredibly important for those of us in helping professions to not forget about taking care of ourselves.

Q: What advice would you give the younger generation when it comes to advancing in their careers or strengthening Stark County?
Listen to Melanie! Keep your bank filled, and keep giving of yourself—your talents, strengths and time.

Q: What’s the most challenging part(s) of your job? How do you tackle these obstacles?
I have worked primarily with addiction in my career. It is a daily challenge to help people understand this as a disease. We are not helping bad people learn how to behave themselves. The stigma and shame associated with addiction are daily obstacles. My daily challenge is to make this a safe harbor. Each person is treated with dignity and respect and helped to identify their strengths. Individuals are supported as together we identify their first steps down the path to recovery. The gift of my job is that I get to witness what the general public does not, the miracle of recovery.

“Neena is positive, caring and knows how to lend a hand to the families dealing with addiction. …” —Keelan Moore


• Master of social work from the University of Akron
• Bachelor of arts in social work from Malone College


• Behavioral Health Specialist, Ignatia Hall of Canton, Summa Health System, Canton, 2010- present
• Licensed social worker, 2003
• Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), 2005
• Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervisory Designation (LISW-S), 2006
• Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor III (LCDC III), 2010

In the community

• Member, Malone Professional Advisory Committee
• Member, Stark County Opiate Task Force
• Member, Stark County Community Health Needs Advisory Committee
• Speaker at Stop Heroin from Killing Committee town hall meetings
• Neena has spoken to small local groups in association with her work with Opiate Task Force.


Married to Danny, and they have one son: Colin

Nominated by

Erin Hollenbaugh, associate professor at Kent State University at Stark; Keelan Moore, student at Kent State Stark and volunteer at Ignatia Hall of Canton

Erin Hollenbaugh says

“Neena has given her professional life to helping others fight their addictions, specifically chemical dependency. She has excelled both professionally and academically, and has made considerable contributions to Stark County’s ongoing fight against addiction.”

Keelan Moore says

“With the heroin epidemic in full force, she is an absolute godsend to our community advocating for recovery.”


TwentyUnder40-01Twenty under 40! recognizes young professionals across various sectors of the business, civic, government, arts, education and non-profit communities, including consideration in the following areas: Arts/Entertainment, Business, Community Services/Nonprofit, Corporate, Education, Financial Services, Government, Hospitality & Tourism, Legal Services, Manufacturing, Medical & Health Care Services, Other, PR/Advertising/Marketing, Real Estate, Retail, Social Service, Students (College), Technology

Nominees were selected based on career acumen, community service and trusteeship, and personal and professional achievements. The Twenty under 40! selection committee is comprised of diverse business and community leaders representing a range of industry sectors from around Stark County.

More Twenty Under 40!

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