ADAMH Executive Director Penny Dehner presents Matt Cox with the 2020 Mental Health BH Hero Award. (Photos courtesy of the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board)
ADAMH Executive Director Penny Dehner presents Matt Cox with the 2020 Mental Health BH Hero Award. (Photos courtesy of the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board)
The Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Services Board canceled the Annual Recovery Celebration that is normally held in September because of social distancing restrictions and concern for the safety of our guests due to the COVID19 pandemic.  

As we continue our efforts to support recovery on every level, it is important to take a moment and thank those on the front lines. Last week we delivered the Behavioral Health (BH) Hero Awards to all of our BH Heroes to honor them for going above and beyond to make sure that our residents continue to receive needed services during the pandemic.

“So many good things are happening in our communities, and there is a steadfast commitment to quality treatment and recovery,” Penny Dehner, Executive Director of the Paint Valley ADAMH Board, said. “Treatment works, people recover and recovering people work and give back to our communities. 

September is Recovery Month, and it is important to celebrate and honor individuals doing extraordinary work. The Paint Valley ADAMH Board is so pleased to honor those that are making a difference in our recovery-oriented system of care by making sure our communities have the services that they need.”

• The Mental Health BH Hero of the year is Matt Cox, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. He was nominated by Jhan Corzine.

Cox works with veterans who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and PTSD. He is involved in all facets of his client’s lives from assisting them with clothing, housing, education, employment and transportation.

Cox created a bike shop at the VA as a resource for the entire community to use and has received a national award for the program. Last year, he launched the Tour of Ross County Heroes and raised money for the adaptive sports program at the VA which provides specially designed bicycles for the mentally or physically affected veterans.

Cox has also donated his time and efforts to assist the Ross County Suicide Prevention Coalition by providing timing services for their annual 5K fundraiser. He is a true advocate for those he serves.

• The Crisis Intervention Team BH Hero is Officer Dave McIntyre of the Circleville Police Department. He was nominated by Sgt. Phil Roar.

Officer McIntyre is a leader among the CIT officers in the Circleville Police Department. He often takes the initiative to respond to calls when he can assist.

One example of Officer McIntyre using his CIT Skills was on Aug. 17. He was on a domestic call where several adults were detained and arrested, which was very upsetting to a child.   Using his CIT skill set, he was able to deescalate the situation to a controllable level and provide comfort to the child. Officer McIntyre believes in the ADAMH mission and credits his success to his CIT training.

• The Prevention BH Hero is Amey Van Voorhis, Paint Valley PAX Partner. She was nominated by Leighanne Johnson.  

Van Voorhis has gone above and beyond to help Paint Valley Elementary School grow and extend our PAX program for our students. She extends her help and support to the teachers and staff whenever it is needed. She believes that each student is worthy and deserves the best care and support at school.

Van Voorhis offers her own time and energy to create the best environment for the Paint Valley students. She has mentored many new partners, and she honors the PAX program by creating a welcoming and engaging learning environment for everyone she works with.

• The Addiction BH Hero is Brandi Hawthorne, Case Management Coordinator in the Transitions Program in Pike County. She was nominated by Lisa Pfeifer.

Hawthorne works with individuals and families in or impacted by recovery. During her time, she has built close relationships with the organizations providing recovery and mental health services, as well as the Pike County Court System.

Hawthorne implemented the first adult work experience program for her employer and has developed innovative supportive service programs to assist our clients. She has received recognition for her progressive thinking and was chosen as a panelist on a state-wide webinar featuring Pike County CAC’s Transitions Program on May 7.

Hawthorne is the president of the Pike County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition and participates in March United and the Gus Macker Tournament sponsored by the Recovery Council. Her contribution to the Transitions Program has made it the success it is today, and she continues to help many overcome the impact of addiction.

• The following individuals also received PAX Hero Awards for their dedication to the students of our Board region: Heidi Gray – Huntington Elementary School Principal; Leighanne Johnson – Paint Valley Elementary School Guidance Counselor; Susan Prall – Waverly Elementary School Guidance Counselor; and Nicole Wills – Southeastern Elementary School Principal.

Paint Valley ADAMH Board is a political subdivision of state government, created in 1967 by the Ohio legislature to ensure the availability of community-based addiction and mental health services for the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.