Fern Wilcox, MHS, LPC, CAADC, CIP, Chief Executive Officer
Fern Wilcox is the CEO and Executive Director of Daystar Center. She has worked in the addiction and recovery field for more than 35 years. Fern received her Master of Science in Human Service (MHS) degree from Lincoln University, the United States’ first degree-granting historically black college and university (HBCU), where she was inducted into the Phi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Science. Her experience includes every level of care, and she is a Pennsylvania State Certified Interventionist. Her specialties include family addiction treatment, and she is the President of the Pennsylvania Halfway House Association. “I came to work at Daystar in 2015 due to some challenges to the program. I found the challenge of reshaping the Daystar facility to be exciting and energizing. Daystar continues to be an innovative and solid program for men seeking recovery.”
Ronald Sloane, MSW, LSW, CAADC, Program Director
Ronald Sloane is the Program Director at Daystar Center. In that role, he oversees staff and day-to-day operations, ensures the program is well run and makes sure that residents have the necessary resources to get back into the community. Ronald recently passed exams to become a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) and a Licensed Social Worker (LSW).
He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Ronald began working as a House Manager for Gaudenzia Drug and Alcohol Agency. Ronald held several positions while working for the agency: House Manager, House Manager Supervisor, Counselor Assistant, Counselor and Clinical Supervisor. Ronald also worked as a Case Worker for Children and Youth in Cumberland County and as a Therapeutic Staff Support worker for T.W. Ponessa of Harrisburg, Pa. Ronald received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Shippensburg University and his Master Degree in Social Work at the University of Shippensburg.
Chris Benedetto, CAAC, CRS, Counselor Assistant
Chris is the Counselor Assistant at Daystar Center. Chris is a Certified Recovery Specialist through Pennsylvania Certification Board. He began employment at Daystar in 2018. Chris has redeveloped and implemented a new Family Program at Daystar. Chris was a mechanic by trade until his passion for helping others led him into the human service field in March of 2013. Chris has worked at multiple levels-of-care and is familiar with many modalities of substance abuse treatment. He is passionate about being an active advocate for individuals in the recovering community. Chris believes that everyone who is impacted by addiction should have the opportunity to experience his or her own personal path in recovery. He believes role modeling is the most comprehensible way to teach and strives to mirror the quote “be the change you want to see in the world”.
Robert Taylor, CRS, Counselor
Robert is a Counselor Assistant at Daystar Center. Rob is a Certified Recovery Specialist through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. He began at Daystar in 2017 as a Recovery Specialist and transitioned to a clinical role in 2019. Robert is an Assistant Pastor at a local community church and is passionate about helping individuals who are seeking a better way of life. Robert is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.
Kenneth Washington, CRS, House Manager
Ken is the House Manager at Daystar Center. He began employment at Daystar in April of 2018. He has also held the following positions at Daystar: Part-Time Recovery Specialist and Evening Recovery Specialist. Ken is a Certified Recovery Specialists through Pennsylvania Certification Board. Ken has been mentoring individuals to help aid their transition back into society. He also facilitates weekly drug and alcohol classes in the Harrisburg area. Ken has a strong desire to help individuals in early recovery and appreciates the different treatment modalities and person-center treatment that is offered at Daystar.
Steven Slater, CRS, Associate Counselor
Steven began working at Daystar in January 2020 as the second shift recovery specialist, and soon earned the title of Certified Recovery Specialist, adding CRS behind his name. This is his first job in the recovery field, coming from an information technology background. Steven quickly realized he had a passion for helping other people find their path to recovery, which led him to us.
Craig Gittens, BA, Case Manager
Craig Gittens joined the Daystar Center team in early 2022 as a Case Manager. In that role he supports clients as they develop a plan to deal with everything from probation, drug court, aftercare treatment, and housing. Craig is also responsible for overseeing Daystar’s recovery houses, where graduates of the long-term treatment program can live for up to one year. Craig holds a BA in Sociology from Fordham University. Before coming to Daystar, he was the Cumberland County Prison Vivitrol Program Coordinator. “Several years ago, I came to Daystar looking for help and hope as a patient,” said Craig. “Today I come to work here each day looking to GIVE help and hope to others.”