NYAPRS Mourns the Passing of Recovery Champion Kirsten Vincent
June 3, 2021
On behalf of the NYAPRS board and community, I am deeply sorry to share the news of the passing of Kirsten Vincent this past Monday, May 31 at the age of 50.
Some of you have known Kirsten as the CEO of Recovery Options Made Easy, a highly respected and innovative peer-run agency in Western New York. Some of you have known her for her dedication to quality peer services in her roles with the NYS Peer Specialist Board, the Academy of Peer Services, as President of the Wellness Collaborative of New York and as a certified personal medicine coach and peer specialist.
Moreover, our NYAPRS Board has greatly treasured Kirsten’s dedication and tireless efforts in support of our agency and mission as our Secretary and co-President Elect.
Tireless dedication exemplified Kirsten.
Under her leadership, Recovery Options has come to offer best practice peer delivered services across 7 counties in Western New York and most recently been working with state and local government and partners on a new initiative that could come to house a peer run crisis stabilization center, peer respite house and Living Room program at one site.
Kirsten never refused any request. She followed her vision and dedication to the recovery of her peers to take on countless projects and people. I was one of them.
I was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago, which led to the removal of one of my lobes. I hadn’t mentioned this to most folks and shortly thereafter, had the opportunity to give opening remarks at our Annual Rehabilitation Academy. After moving to the back of the room to take a needed ‘breather,’ I found Kirsten standing next to me. She did what peers do, which is to share her own health issues, which prompted me to tell her about the cancer. She had known all along…had sensed it…and was so comforting and encouraging. We continued to stay in touch, supporting each other along the way.
I know I speak for every NYAPRS Board member and staff person when I extend our deep sympathy and support to Kirsten’s husband and family and to the Recovery Options staff and community. We greatly share the sentiments of Recovery Options’ Board President Ralph Swanson: “Kirsten will leave a void in our lives but her kindness and accomplishments will be acknowledged for many years to come.”
Kirsten and the Academy of Peer Services
In 2019, Kirsten presented the first in our Academy of Peer Services Faces and Places of Peer Support Series, where we came to appreciate her vision and passion for supporting people in recovery. She spoke about the services offered at Housing Options Made Easy (HOME), which was later renamed Recovery Options Made Easy (ROME) to build upon their expanded services and supports. To learn more about Kirsten and her work, visit: