Dr. Mo Wins Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Innovative Addiction and Mental Health Support Platform

Congratulations, Dr. Mo!

Dr. Mo, person in long term recovery from methamphetamine and alcohol use wins entrepreneurial excellence award

"I always hoped sharing my story could help others. It makes that hard road I traveled a little easier to look at through the rear-view mirror."

The Entrepreneurial Excellence award is given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and commitment to making a positive impact in their community. This year, the award goes to Melissa Dittberner, “Dr. Mo,” Co-Founder and CEO of Straight Up Care, a tech company dedicated to supporting individuals dealing with addiction and mental health needs by accelerating their connection to peer support specialists.

Dr. Mo’s Journey

Her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur is an inspiring one. She entered adulthood as a high school dropout but went on to earn a doctorate degree. She teaches addiction counseling and prevention, peer support training, and psychology. In addition to her work with Straight Up Care, her passion for helping others led her to co-found the non-profit organization Midwest Street Medicine, which aims to increase access to care in the unhoused population.

Straight Up Care’s Platform

Dr. Mo’s experience working in the field and living with addiction inspired her to create an innovative platform tailored to the needs of individuals seeking help. Co-founded with Jonathan Lewis, Straight Up Care’s platform offers a comprehensive solution for peer specialists to connect with individuals in need of support. The platform provides a safe and supportive community for individuals to connect with peers, access resources, and receive support from trained professionals.

Impact on the Community

Dr. Mo’s impact on the community is profound. She has trained over 2,000 people in South Dakota, including those in recovery, to be peer support helpers for others struggling with addiction. Her work has the potential to create nearly 150 jobs in South Dakota alone, demonstrating her commitment to employment opportunities and community welfare. Her impact expands beyond South Dakota as the online peer specialist training she created, and is NAADAC-approved, is available to anyone interested in becoming a peer specialist. 

Dr. Mo’s approach to supporting individuals struggling with addiction and mental health needs is unique and effective. Her dedication to social impact and community development is an inspiration to others.


Dr. Mo’s Entrepreneurial Excellence award is well-deserved recognition for her tireless efforts to support individuals with addiction and mental health needs. Her innovative platform, commitment to social impact, and community development make her a role model for entrepreneurs who want to make a positive difference in their communities.

Straight Up Care’s success is a testament to Dr. Mo’s vision, leadership, and dedication to helping others. Her work has the potential to inspire others to pursue careers in social impact and community development, creating a ripple effect of positive change in communities everywhere.

Congratulations, Dr. Mo, on this well-deserved recognition! Your work is an inspiration to us all.Her


Looking for more about Dr. Mo?

Dr. Mo’s TedX talk: https://straightupcare.com/dr-melissa-dittberner-tedx/ 

Dr. Mo on Reduce The Stigma: Recovery Conversations: https://straightupcare.com/recovery-conversations-dr-mo/

Dr. Mo on the podcast “Fragmented to Whole: Life Lessons from 12 Step Recovery”: https://straightupcare.com/from-g-e-d-to-ph-d-with-melissa-dr-mo-dittberner-episode-230/

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