Faith Nichols Peterson, CASAC
A pioneer, visionary, and innovator in the
addictions treatment field, Faith Peterson, Beacon Center’s founder
and president, has been on the cutting edge of substance-abuse
prevention and treatment since 1983.
A graduate of the State University College of New York at
Fredonia and of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership through the
University at Buffalo, Ms. Peterson has been a New York State
Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) since
1985, she also has a Gambling Specialty Designation for the treatment
of compulsive gambling. She began her career
in the addictions treatment field as a prevention educator and a
counselor, but rapidly rose to a supervisory position and was
subsequently sought out to lead progressively larger agencies.
Throughout these experiences,
recognizing the uniqueness of each person served, Ms. Peterson longed
to offer patients treatment that was especially designed to meet their
needs. With that vision,
the idea of Beacon Center was born, and Ms. Peterson opened the first
agency location in suburban Buffalo in June of 1990. Since that
time, Ms. Peterson has expanded Beacon Center to encompass six
outpatient substance-abuse treatment facilities. In
2006, after extensive renovations, her vision of opening the Albert O.
Nichols house, a supportive living home, came to fruition.
Over the years, Faith Peterson's vision and responsiveness to
the community have been instrumental in making Beacon Center one of
the premier providers of substance-abuse services in New York State
Nathaniel Webster, M.D.
Beacon Center is truly fortunate to have a
Medical Director with Dr. Nathaniel Webster’s storied history on our
treatment team since 1995.
A graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee,
Dr. Webster also worked on obtaining a Master of Science degree in
Embryology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. prior to
entering the Army. He
holds licenses in New York, California, and Georgia, in addition to
licensure from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
He has had a private family practice in Buffalo, New York since
1963 and, prior to assuming the Medical Directorship of Beacon Center,
he served as Medical Director for several substance-abuse treatment
units in the Greater Buffalo area at various levels of care.
The author and co-author of, and contributor to, several
publications, he is also certified as a Suboxone® provider and
specializes in the use of laser therapy in pain management.
Some his contributions have been to the publication
Desk Reference on Drug Abuse (Second Edition) and to the film
What Did You Take (The Drug
Jacqueline Nicastro, MBA, CASAC
Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Nicastro has
been widely recognized by her peers for her intelligence and her vast
working knowledge of all aspects of the chemical dependency field for
many years. From personnel
matters to treatment requirements, Ms. Nicastro is well versed in all
facets of operating a successful treatment service.
She received her bachelor's degree in Social Science
from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York. She subsequently
obtained her Master of Business Administration degree from St.
Bonaventure University. As
Chief Executive Officer, she oversees all of Beacon Center's clinical,
financial, and personnel matters.
Ms. Nicastro brings to Beacon Center a unique blend of clinical
as well as administrative experience and, in addition to holding a
CASAC credential, she is a Substance Abuse Professional with the
United States Department of Transportation.
Actively involved in the community, she has served on the
Niagara County Community Services Board since 2003 as well as the Board of Directors of the Western New York Chemical
Carolyn Grisko, MS, CASAC
A consummate professional as both a counselor and a clinical supervisor, Carolyn Grisko began her career at Beacon Center in 1992 as a chemical dependency counselor, subsequently receiving a promotion to Clinical Supervisor in 1994. Holding a Master of Science degree in Counseling, she also acts as Drug Court Coordinator for Clarence Drug Court and maintains a case load. Ms. Grisko's expertise in all aspects of chemical dependency treatment, and her imperturbable wisdom in overseeing the operations of Beacon Center's Amherst office, make her a uniquely qualified asset to Beacon Center's operations. In addition to her CASAC credential, she has a Gambling Specialty Designation for the treatment of compulsive gambling and is a Substance Abuse Professional with the Department of Transportation.
Jacqueline (Jacki) Smith, CASAC
An employee of Beacon Center since 2005, Herkimer native Jacki Smith began her career in substance-abuse counseling at Beacon Center's Western New York clinics. When the Albert O. Nichols House, which is named for Beacon Center President Faith Peterson's late father, opened in 2006, Ms. Smith became its Residence Manager. A Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor through the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services(OASAS), she also is an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium. Ms. Smith has been the recipient of the Making a Difference Award from OASAS for two consecutive years, in 2009 and 2010. At the same time that she has been making a difference for OASAS, she also has impacted dozens of men's lives as they have benefited from her guidance while continuing down the road to a lifetime of recovery.
Michael DeJesus, Jr., M.D.
Michael DeJesus, Jr., M.D., is the Medical Director for Beacon Center’s Herkimer and Utica sites. Licensed to practice medicine in the State of New York, he brings with him 32 years of experience as a family physician and holds certification from the American Board of Family Medicine. With affiliations at five area hospitals, Dr. DeJesus has special expertise in diabetes, diabetes complications, heart diseases, heart failure, and stroke. He has also achieved recognition in the NCQA Heart/Stroke Recognition Program as well as the NCQA Physician Practice Connections-Patient Centered Medical Home. Dr. DeJesus maintains a private practice in Family Medicine at North Country Family Practice in Barneveld, New York, and also serves at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare/Adirondack Community Physicians in Poland, New York. A graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert W. Johnson Medical School, he received his training at Somerset Medical Center and has extensive experience in treating a vast spectrum of medical conditions found in every age group.