Donna Woods-Bauer refers to herself as a woman in recovery first and then a professional. Her recovery began the day she picked up the phone and called a friend in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and went to a detoxification center in Oklahoma City in 1994. After that, Donna graduated from Oklahoma State University in December of 2000 with an Associates of Science degree in Substance Abuse Counseling.
After receiving her certification as an alcohol and drug counselor (CADC), Donna put her formal education on the back burner. Instead, she founded the Oklahoma Citizens Advocates for Recovery and Transformation Association (OCARTA), in February of 2002. With funding from the ODMHSAS, the agency began advocating for the rights of individuals, families, and those in recovery with addiction to receive help.
One of Donna’s first notable achievements as leading OCARTA came in 2006. At that time, OCARTA was awarded a SAMHSA-CSAT Grant to help indigent women with children coming out of treatment and prison break down the barriers keeping them stuck in recidivism and relapse.
A great listener full of integrity, her primary role is to motivate others and manage the vision and purpose of the organization. She has traveled throughout the state of Oklahoma to promote Community Sentencing programs, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (ODMHSAS), Drug Courts, and Peer Recovery Support Specialist programs. With Donna at the helm, OCARTA continues to move forward with its mission of grassroots advocacy, education, and peer recovery support services for all those affected by addition and/or mental illness.