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Citizen Advocates adopts greater role on vital issues


Citizen Advocates has committed to having an increased presence in the communities it serves with a focus on social responsibility.  This includes attending local events that focus on the arts, vulnerable and marginalized populations and raising awareness around mental health and addiction.  April Riley and Valerie Simmons from the Citizen Advocates’ Health Home Care Coordination team attend a recent concert held in conjunction with the North Country Arts Festival in Potsdam, sharing information about services with community members.

Agency embraces Corporate Social Responsibility

As a leader in providing innovative health and human services, Citizen Advocates’ mission of “making lives better” by providing essential services to vulnerable or underserved individuals is just the beginning. As a major employer and key community institution, Citizen Advocates is committed to making lives better for all – for generations to come.

Simon Sinek, a thought leader in the business world and beyond, said: “Great companies don’t offer us something to buy. Great companies offer us something to buy into.”

Through its newly launched Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, Citizen Advocates strives to position itself as a thought leader, offering something to buy into by giving voice to, and opportunities to act upon, a growing number of important topics, such as:

  • The opioid crisis
  • Gun violence
  • Abortion rights
  • Pandemic lessons
  • Racial Equality & Justice
  • Diversity & Inclusion

The Corporate Social Responsibility Committee is an agent of change on issues or priorities that effect the workplace, our communities and the world.  This can take many forms, such as establishing gender-neutral bathrooms at all Citizen Advocates facilities, reducing waste that goes into the landfill by recycling more materials, or providing diversity and inclusivity training to all employees.

“Whether global or local, Corporate Social Responsibility is our strategic plan to change for better the world around us,” said James Button, President & CEO of Citizen Advocates. “We will accomplish this by advocating for our workforce, caring for our environment, embracing diversity and creating a company culture that inspires and engages.”

Citizen Advocates held several informational pop-up events in honor of National Recovery Month during October.  The pop-up events were held at its outpatient Integrated Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Clinics in Malone, Saranac Lake, Massena and Ogdensburg.  It was an opportunity to share information about available resources, and for others to share experiences about what recovery means to them.  Peer Support Specialist Eddy Lawrence works the table at the Saranac Lake Recovery Month pop-up event.

2022 Initiatives

Through its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), Citizen Advocates has focused its 2022 CSR initiatives into four areas:

  • Purpose: Through our company culture, we are committed to sharing our best selves to achieve a workplace of belonging, engagement and inspiration.
  • People: By focusing on diversity, equity, inclusivity & belonging, we commit to translating inclusive ideals into real world results.
  • Profession: Through our workforce advocacy, we will intentionally create opportunities that empower our workforce to sustain balanced lives.
  • Planet: By focusing on environmental advocacy, we will transform our responsibility for sustainable and ethical business practices into education and action.

Citizen Advocates is continuing to build on this foundation, recently filling a newly created leadership role focused on its CSR strategy and initiatives. In planning for 2023, Citizen Advocates’ Board of Directors have prioritized CSR and committed to being a thought leader and a strong voice on social and environmental issues that impact our world.

“We are proud of the leadership Citizen Advocates is taking in our region and understand that taking a stand on contemporary issues is needed to achieve positive change in the world around us,” said Mr. Button. “Committing to doing the right thing is not only part of our competitive advantage, but it is part of our core beliefs. We strive to transform the world around us based on making lives better, and with purpose, for people we support, our workforce and the world.”

To learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility at Citizen Advocates, click here.