Spirit of Recovery Award

Each year, the recipient of the Spirit of Recovery award has embodied and demonstrated a dedication to 12 step philosophy, leadership in the recovery field, the encouragement of others, and the promotion of sober lifestyles.

The Joseph L. Galletta
"Spirit of Recovery" Award

We would like to explain the Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award by first introducing you to Dr. Galletta, the award’s namesake.

Dr. Joseph L. Galletta was a man who touched many lives at some point on their road to recovery. He was truly an addiction treatment pioneer.

He was one of the first physicians to become certified in the new field of Addiction Medicine in 1983. He helped develop treatment protocols that took the fear and danger out of detoxification and provided a way out of the grips of alcoholism and addiction for countless patients over the years.

He was an active member, and later the chair, of the Physician Wellness Committee of the Riverside Medical Association. Dr. Galletta assisted many physicians into treatment and recovery as well as assisted hospitals in the development of wellness programs of their own.

Dr. Galletta’s enthusiasm for the field of chemical dependency treatment was so genuine and contagious that he was responsible for drawing several healthcare professionals into the field.  He was responsible for the certification of a number of addiction specialist physicians who otherwise would have never considered this specialty area of practice. Dr. Galletta, within the medical community, championed the early identification and intervention of the disease helping restore countless lives both directly and indirectly.

Dr. Galletta was a man of great generosity, giving freely of his time and resources for the simple reward of helping. On many occasions, he provided services to countless individuals regardless of their ability to pay and also provided his time serving on the boards of various facilities and organizations free of charge. Dr. Galletta showed great loyalty in both the good times and the bad. He was someone you could count on to be in your corner and someone who commanded respect through his actions and his deeds and not through his title or position. He could help lift the spirits of the hopeless and the helpless, through encouragement, kindness, and that gentle touch that came from somewhere deep inside. He could break the ice with a bad lawyer joke, and put you at ease with his confidence in your ability to recover and thrive.

He understood the importance of the 12 Steps, the fellowship of the recovery community, and spiritual connection. He always directed his patients to Alcoholics Anonymous.

It was Dr. Galletta who always downplayed his importance on the team and promoted the roles of others in a selfless style so rare in people and even rarer in physicians. He would always say, “I’m just the doctor; it’s the team that gets you well.” It was this humble demeanor that was so remarkable, so special, and so “Joe.” His trademark positive attitude and optimistic outlook was an encouragement to all who knew him.

As special as Dr. Joseph L. Galletta was, his spirit and dedication to the field of recovery lives on through the work of others. It is these individuals we honor through the Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award. Each year, the recipient selected has embodied and demonstrated a dedication to 12 step philosophy, leadership in the recovery field, the encouragement of others, and the promotion of sober lifestyles.