CLIFTON Bishop Serratelli has appointed Dr. Sam Pirozzi as the new executive director of Straight and Narrow in Paterson, an agency of diocesan Catholic Charities, which provides prevention, education and treatment services to clients with addictive disorders. The appointment is effective July 1. Pirozzi succeeds Joseph Duffy, who is retiring June 30.
Bishop Serratelli said, “I am happy to welcome Dr. Pirozzi to this important position of service in our Catholic Charities agencies as the Executive Director of Straight and Narrow. His clinical and professional background in leading and supporting persons and programs in the process of recovery is precisely what will make Straight and Narrow even more effective than it is today. Straight and Narrow has a richly deserved reputation for assisting persons in recovery. This agency is an important part of our Catholic Charities agencies within the diocese. Under the new leadership of Dr. Pirozzi, he will continue the good work accomplished in recent years by his predecessors, David Mactas and Joe Duffy. He joins this long tradition of caring professionals who follow these two principles: “providing help — creating hope.”
Pirozzi, who previously worked at Straight and Narrow from 1974 to 1994 as program director, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from William Paterson University, Wayne; a master’s degree in school and community psychology from Seton Hall University, South Orange; an Ed.S in marriage and family therapy from Seton Hall, and an Ed.D in education from Nova Southastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“I am honored and blessed that Bishop Serratelli has given me the opportunity to return to Straight and Narrow as the executive director,” Pirozzi said. “I consider my long relationship with the agency to be the foundation for my professional and personal life. Straight and Narrow means so much to so many people, who started their road of recovery at the agency. The program’s loyal and compassionate employees and volunteers have served as an example of the mission of Catholic Charities since Straight and Narrow’s beginning in 1954.
“I know that I have a great responsibility following in the footsteps of past agency, directors especially at a time that our nation is facing a national drug crisis. I take comfort in knowing that Straight and Narrow is a place of quality care and compassion that can ease the suffering of those who are addicted, their families and love ones,” he said.
Since 1986, Pirozzi has had a private practice in behavioral health counseling and psychotherapy. After serving from 2002-2004 as a full-time assistant professor in the Public Health Department at William Paterson University, Wayne. He currently serves there as an adjunct professor, a position he has held since 2005. He also was an adjunct professor at Montclair State University from 1988 to 2001.
During his career, he has worked as executive/clinical director of Alfre Inc., Morristown, (2013-15); director of clinical services at Turning Point in Paterson (2007-09, 2000-02); program director of alcohol chemical dependency services at St. Clare Hospital, Boonton, (2004-07); director of outpatient counseling at Care Plus, Paramus, (1998-2000); chief operating officer of Eva’s Village, Paterson, (1996-98); and director of substance abuse services at St. Barnabas Behavioral Healthcare Network, Livingston.
Pirozzi is licensed in New Jersey as a professional counselor; as a clinical drug and alcoholism counselor, and as a marriage and family therapist. He is also nationally certified as a health education specialist.