From T. R. Williams:

During my time as County Executive, I have worked to help establish partnerships in our community. I’m happy to report that now, if a project needs input from one of our city mayors, a local organization, or a business, I feel comfortable calling on any of them. Likewise, they feel free to come to me for assistance.

Because great partnerships make great things happen, I’m happy to announce the newest addition to my staff: Jenny Doerflinger Golden, who was hired in June 2016 as Director of the Lawrence County Substance Abuse Coalition (LCSAC).

The grant that established LCSAC provides for a Director to work 30 hours a week. I asked Jenny to bring that operation from the Courthouse to my office in the Administrative Building, where she will devote another ten hours a week to administrative work. This underlines my commitment to the work of LCSAC and strengthens our partnership.

As I learn more about the Coalition’s work over the past year, I find that one of its primary goals is to work with partners in the community. Some might call that a coincidence. I call it providence.

Following are just a few of the other organizations that LCSAC works with, and how:

*The Lawrence County Health Council and its Healthier Lawrence County committee: helping employers and churches establish “Small Starts at Work and Worship” programs to encourage healthy habits.

*The Community Advisory Board: helping the CAB put its Lawrence County Resource Guide into more hands.

*Juvenile Court: providing youth an opportunity for community service through the Coalition.

*Local Businesses: providing information about Tennessee Drug Free Workplace training and establishment of Smoke/Tobacco-Free environments.

*Southern Tennessee Regional Health System – Lawrenceburg: work group formed to help organize a “Provider Summit” that offers information to those who prescribe opioid pain killers.

*Lawrence County Schools: serving as a resource and making education kits available to help schools address substance use risks for youth.

*AWARE: assisting this school system program as it promotes awareness of, and help for, youth mental health issues. This partnership took Jenny to 9th grade Wellness classes, where she talked about how those suffering from a mental illness may have an increased risk for substance use/abuse. She is also now a Mental Health First Aid Trainer, certified to train those who work with young people so that they can recognize youth in crisis and provide resources for help.

*Restaurants/Retail: planning to offer Responsible Beverage Server training for those that serve and sell alcohol.

*Kid’s Place, AWARE, The Shelter, Inc.: collaborating with these agencies/programs to better understand Adverse Childhood Experiences and how their long-term effects include a greater susceptibility to substance abuse.

*Law Enforcement: bi-annual Take Back events allow for safe disposal of unused and expired drugs.

*The Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services: co-sponsoring a Faith-Based Forum Monday, August 14, 6-8 p.m. at the City Administration Building Auditorium. This public event will provide information about the biology of addiction and tell churches how they can support people in recovery.

In June, Jenny completed the work necessary to become a Certified Prevention Specialist I. Earlier, she graduated from a three-week academy sponsored by the Community Anti Drug Coalitions of America. Because of that work, LCSAC will be recognized in February, 2018 at a Washington, D.C. Leadership Forum.

LCSAC Board members are strong partners in all this work. They represent every sector of the community including business, health care, and education. Sissy Garner is the chairman, Dr. John Beasley is co-chair, and other members are Leah D. Herston, Steve Seaton, Steven Mashburn, Joe Douglass, Sr., Stacey Young, Devin Toms, Amber Chunn, Dennis Maddox, Tom Appleton, Greg Swann, and Barbara Smith. The Board assessed their first year of work and talked about future plans at a recent retreat.

“We are always growing and developing new partnerships,” Jenny said. With her help, I believe I will, too.

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