Full Name: Dixie Lee Morgese

Years Attended Daytona State:1993 to 1995

Graduation year:1995

Program/Degree:Associate in Science

Why did you choose to attend Daytona State?
I had recently moved to the Daytona Beach area and had a new baby.  I was 35 years old and had an incomplete college history and needed to start somewhere – all I knew was that I wanted to translate my life experience into a way to help others.  The Women’s Center and Fresh Start helped me with a starting place and understood my conflicting demands as a new mother.

How has an education from Daytona State made a difference in your life?
This was the beginning of a journey that has continued to take me to wonderful places.  My children are grown and were able to see their mother pursue higher education and find a career that she loves.  I have been able to help people in many different capacities as a counselor and a leader.  That is a difference that will last generations.


What have you been doing since you’ve graduated?

I completed my BA degree and Certified Addictions Professional designation from the Florida Certification Board and worked in Behavioral Health Care in various capacities from counselor to Program Manager from 1995 to 1999.  My husband and I had a second daughter and we bought a home in Ormond Beach where we reside today.  Our oldest daughter Sylvia graduated recently and is working for the City of Houston as a Wellness Coordinator and our youngest daughter Michelle is in her first year of college pursuing a degree in business.  I have continued my passion for dance and teach classical ballet to adults in the evening.  I love to run and exercise and mentor other women in business.   

Career/Employment Highlights?
I continued forward to get my B.A. degree from St. Leo University Magna Cum Laude, and passed the exam to become a Certified Addictions Professional and International Drug and Alcohol Counselor.  I then pursued Quality Management Consulting in the areas of HIV and Addictions and finally Executive Management which led me to my current job as Executive Director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler & Volusia Counties.  I am also an Adjunct Faculty at Daytona State College in the Institute of Health Services for Continuing Education

Some notable Awards & Recognition:

  • National Association of Social Workers (N.A.S.W.) Volusia-Flagler Unit - Public Citizen of the Year, 2015
  • Stewart-Marchman-ACT Behavioral Healthcare Community Advocacy Award, October 15, 2014
  • Commonsense Childbirth Perinatal Partnership Award, 2013
  • City of Daytona Beach Juneteenth Hometown Hero Award, 2013
  • Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless Richard Sydney Vought Award, 2010
  • Florida Office of Drug Control Substance Abuse Prevention Award, 2008
  • Committee for Positive Parenting Volusia And Flagler Counties Winds of Change Child Advocate of the Year Award, 2008
  • Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges as a student at Daytona Beach Community College, 199

Affilliations:

  • Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions Board of Directors 2006 to Present  Currently Chair of Legislative Committee and Treasurer
  • Chair, Substance Exposed Newborn Task Force for Flagler and Volusia Counties, 2010 to present
  • Certified Trainer – Florida State University Partners for a Healthy Baby Home Visiting Curriculum. 2014
  • Northeast Central Chapter of Infant Mental Health – Co-Chair 2010 to Present
  • National, State and Community-wide training and speaking in the areas of Family Risk and Resiliency, Policy Issues Impacting Women, Infants, Children, and Youth (WICY), Healthy Start Screening and Outcome Objectives, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, Service Delivery Planning and Quality Management in the Not-For-Profit sector. 1995 to present.
  • Steering Committee Member, Thrive by Five Community Collaborative 2008 to present
  • Board of Directors, STAR Homeless Assistance Center from  2007 - 2009
  • Board of Directors, One Voice for Volusia since 2006.
  • Chair. Healthy Volusia 2006, 2007. 
  • From 1999 to 2004, actively participated in statewide HIV care and prevention planning and served as the Chair of the State of Florida Bureau of HIV/AIDS Patient Care Section from 2002 to 2004.
  • Chair, Partnership for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Planning, Volusia and Flagler Counties (Area 12) from 2000 - 2003.
  • Participated in the Statewide Patient Care writing team and co-wrote the 2002-2005 and 2006-2009 Epidemiological Profile for the Comprehensive Plan in conjunction with the State Department of Health Bureau of HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis, 2000 - 2006.
  • Executive Network, United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties, 2000 - 2003.
  • Florida Department of Health, Bureau of HIV/AIDS, trainer/presenter – Ryan White Titles I,II, IV, 2004 and 2005.
  • Department of Children and Families – Substance Exposed Newborn Task force from 1994 - 2002.
  • Participation in Policy Development and Advocacy regarding State and National policy related to child placement and custody, standards of care, funding for women’s set-aside, and client rights,  1993 - present.
  • Healthy Start – throughout the State of Florida, provided ongoing staff development from 1997- present
  • Head Start – semi-annual staff development updates for case management of high risk families, 1996 - 2002.
  • Board of Directors, F.A.I.T.H. “Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony”  Faith-Based Organizing through Networking and Direct Action, 1994 - 2005.
  • Chair, Volusia County Commission on the Status of Women, 1994 -  1999
  • Member, Community Team Training Institute, Washington, D.C., 1995 - 2000
  • Florida Certification Board Member since 1995.
  • Board of Directors, Outreach Community Care Network, 1993 - 2000.
  • Chair, Family Centered Care Task Force  - successfully implemented Family Centered HIV Care services through the coordination of leaders from Halifax Medical Center, University of South Florida Rainbow Pediatric Center, Children’s Medical Services, Healthy Start, and Healthy Communities which resulted in specialized pediatric and OB/GYN care for HIV positive women and babies.  2003-2004

What is your favorite Daytona State memory?
“Working with other Human Services Students on the Daytona Campus to coordinate events associated with Red Ribbon Month to promote substance abuse preventi

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