GREENVILLE — Sharon Deschambeau, president of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce, received the Geraldine B. Nelson Advocacy Award at the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services Annual Meeting and Art of Recovery reception Wednesday at Edison Community College in Piqua.
In presenting the award, Tri-County Board Chairman and Greenville Police Chief Dennis Butts cited Deschambeau’s leading role in “bringing to the table decision-makers from across the spectrum – business leaders, community leaders, elected officials, courts, healthcare, law enforcement, churches, behavioral healthcare and others – to create a coalition to address the serious challenge of opiates and specifically heroin’s effects on Greenville and Darke County. Without this strength of will, without this vision that through coordinated efforts conditions can change, we would not be where we are in addressing this very complex problem.”
Deschambeau accepted the award saying she was honored to accept the award on behalf of the chamber and the approximately 100 people involved in the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County. The coalition came about in response to hearing Darke County employers say they are having trouble finding employees able to pass pre-employment drug screenings.
She said the issue has “become my passion – it affects the physical health, mental and behavioral health, and spiritual health of our community.”
The Geraldine B. Nelson Advocacy Award reads, “For supportive measures on behalf of another, by promoting the recognition of consumer rights and encouraging positive change in the realm of mental health and addiction issues.”
The award is named for the Tri-County Board’s first Director of Community Resource Development, and has been presented annually since 2000 to individuals or groups who demonstrate exceptional advocacy in the realm of mental health and addiction issues.