New position: medical director at Calyx Recovery, a Richmond-area outpatient addiction treatment center for alcohol and drug abuse

Previous position: founder and medical director, Addiction Recovery Center of Virginia in Williamsburg (still part time there)

Birthplace: Schenectady, N.Y.

Education: physician assistant’s degree, Albany Medical College, 1975; medical doctor’s degree, St. George’s University of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, 1986

Career: several positions with hospitals and health care centers in Virginia, North Carolina and New York, 1987-98; attending physician, Virginia Emergency Physicians, Hopewell, 1998-2004; attending physician, Mountain Emergency Physicians, Valdese, N.C., 2004-05; attending physician, Med Express Urgent Care, Williamsburg/Yorktown, 2006-07; attending physician, Patient First, Tidewater, 2007-10; medical director, Urgent Care Associates, Glen Allen, 2010-12; medical director, Addiction Recovery Center of Virginia, Williamsburg, 2013-present; medical director, Calyx Recovery, 2017-present

Best career move: “Taking this position at Calyx Recovery because I can now devote attention to medicine and treatment of the midbrain imbalance, which is the source of addiction. Previously, I had been involved mainly with the urgent and emergent care piece of the addiction treatment issue. I’m driven by the desire to help people battling all types of addiction — including opioid, alcohol and other compulsive behaviors — because of how addiction has impacted my family over the years. I understand how strong support from the family is necessary for recovery to be successful.”

Career goals: “Helping as many people as possible overcome addiction.”

The best advice you ever received: “I was constantly told by my grandparents, who were first-generation Italian immigrants to the U.S., ‘Always work hard and follow your dreams.’ ”

The most difficult situation faced on the job: “Dealing with people who struggle with addiction every day and never wanting to give up on them.”

Career tip for students: “Pursue what you are interested in. I worked as a physician’s assistant for nine years and loved it, but then decided to take a leap to become a physician. It was a long-term goal and well-worth the effort.”

What motivates you? “Seeing patients who have overcome addiction and seeing the children of past patients. It’s so rewarding when they become successful in their lives, have children and find stability in their careers.”

Role model: “My grandfather, Louis DeLuke, worked on the railroad for 55 years to support his family. America gave him a chance and ability to achieve a dream in his life.”

Family: wife, Gloria and eight children

Pastimes: “I like listening to music, and I used to play the guitar a bit. One of my claims to fame is being friends with a member of the band ZZ Top. I also enjoy going to the beach, walking and bicycling.”

The most memorable book or movie: “Gone with the Wind.” “Growing up in New York, I always dreamed of living in the South, and that goal has been achieved.”

Favorite food or restaurant: “Italian, of course. I loved watching my grandmother make her special sauce.”

Ideal vacation: “Being on the beach in the Caribbean and relaxing by the crystal-clear water.”

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