The new board leadership at InterCommunity stretches across generations with retired attorney, James Kelly leading the addiction services board and rising star lawyer, Rebecca Paolino, heading up the community health side. (Pictured from left to right: Rebecca Paolino, InterCommunity’s Board Chair; Kimberly Beauregard, President & CEO of InterCommunity; and James Kelly, InterCommunity Recovery Centers’ Board Chair.)
The organization, now a combination of InterCommunity and Alcohol and Drug Recovery Centers (ADRC), still operates with a dual Board of Directors structure. These two leaders are eager to collaborate to ensure greater Hartford residents have access to meaningful help and support to deal with life’s challenges.
“Bringing the two organizations together seemed like a marriage in heaven. We had a narrow focus before, and now together we can offer so much more,” said James, adding the ADRC history and legacy will still be preserved.
A Manchester resident, father of two daughters and longtime foster care provider, James has been involved with the organization for the last 25 years. He was introduced to ADRC during his own recovery from alcohol addiction — and he hasn’t looked back.
“I’m still involved in a 12-step program today. I spread the message of sobriety and recovery. I let others know they have the ability to reach out and ask for help. I want to make a difference in others’ lives as much as I can,” he said.
James spends at least a month a year in Florida with his wife of 30 years. Highlights of his retirement include attending NASCAR’s Daytona 500, playing golf often and giving Bridge lessons. In the summer, he boards a 26-ft trailer to road trip through Rhode Island and up and down the Northeast.
Rebecca became involved with the Board of Directors after meeting CEO Kim Beauregard at a non-profit event. Then a board member for My Sisters’ Place, Rebecca was intrigued by the organization’s focus on mental and behavioral health, and its vision to expand into primary care.
As a criminal defense attorney with Gerace & Associates in Hartford, Rebecca connects clients in the courthouse to health care and addiction services. She even keeps a script pad with the detox emergency hotline in her purse. Just in case.
“InterCommunity is health care for the whole person. To be part of that is truly fulfilling,” said Rebecca. “There is much more consistency and efficiency in the care we now provide. Patients can get a flu shot or blood pressure checked, receive referrals to specialists or counseling services.”
Both Rebecca and James agree the expansion of the organization’s detox program is critical today, especially with the opioid epidemic the state is facing. “People who never thought they would have access to treatment are finally getting the help they need,” said Rebecca.
Rebecca comes from an UConn family, where her parents met during their undergraduate years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the university and, subsequently, a law degree from Quinnipiac University. Her military husband of two years is now attending UConn Law School in Hartford.
A resident of Hebron, Rebecca is immediate past chair of the Board of Directors for My Sisters’ Place, member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the CT Italian American Bar Association. She serves as an ambassador for reSET, a startup initiative in Hartford, where she volunteered on the Legislative Action Committee.