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Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board Holds 2023 Annual Meeting and Awards

2023 317 Board annual meeting. Attendees seated at round tables in Lake Hope Lodge conference room.

MCARTHUR, OHIO, Monday, October 23, 2023 – The Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services “317 Board” held its annual meeting and awards ceremony at Lake Hope Lodge on Monday evening.

“The Board’s annual meeting is a time for us to celebrate the dedicated work and special efforts of people in our communities who work every day to promote recovery and resilience,” said Executive Director Diane Pfaff.

This year’s award winners included:

Behavioral Health Advocate: Athens County – Jacelyn McGaughey and Shawn Stover

Jacelyn is a START (Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma) caseworker at Athens County Children Services. She goes above and beyond to help individuals meet their sobriety goals. Jacelyn works to build trust with clients and advocates for them while keeping children safe.

Shawn serves as the workforce advancement manager at OhioMeansJobs Athens County. In his previous role as a reentry program coordinator and through the development of the Athens-Meigs Re-Entry Coalition he has impacted many individuals released from incarceration. Shawn has also served on the executive board of Athens HOPE since its inception.

Behavioral Health Advocate: Hocking County – Allison Blazer and Kathy Shepler

Allison is a community behavioral health worker in Hocking County who strongly advocates for the families she works with. She provides information without judgement to help individuals make the best choices for their lives. Allison strives to honor others, and her hard work is noticed by her team.

Kathy Shepler is the specialty docket coordinator and a probation officer in Judge Fred Moses’s Hocking County Municipal Drug Court. She is incredibly knowledgeable in substance use prevention and treatment. Kathy is integral to keeping the court running smoothly and goes beyond her normal work duties, even working weekends when needed.

Behavioral Health Advocate: Vinton County – The Vinton County Health Department’s PORT (Post-Overdose Response Team): Nancy Bauer, Melanie Carte, Tia Elliot, Seth Fannin, Nicole Hire, Jodie Lucas, Susan Urban, and Jeff Woodrum

The Vinton County Health Department has excelled in their substance use disorder prevention and recovery initiatives in the last several years. Through the management of two federal grants, the team created an overdose outreach team, “PORT,” and installed multiple emergency “naloxboxes” throughout the county.

Rita Gillick Mental Health Advocacy Award – Melissa Robson

Melissa has been a dedicated social worker in Vinton County for many years. She is a strong supporter of individuals in recovery and helps bridge the gap between legal and referral services. Melissa is kind and generous without being enabling. She is willing to help at any time or in any place, serving as a welcome source of accurate information for other professionals or the families on her caseload.

Valeria “Taffy” Marks Substance Abuse Prevention Advocacy Award – Lily-Niple Jenkins

Lily is the supervisor of Groundwork Recovery Housing in McArthur. As a person in recovery, she has worked tirelessly to create a safe, sober housing environment for mothers who are in need of recovery services. In the past year, Lily’s worked to establish childcare for the residents, allowing them to reunite with their families and still devote the time needed to focus on their wellness.

About the Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board

The Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board (317 Board) is one of 50 boards across Ohio that plan, fund, and evaluate a community-based system of care for individuals in need of behavioral health or substance use disorder recovery services. For more than 50 years, the 317 Board has ensured a quality, comprehensive network of care that includes prevention, treatment, and recovery services.  Learn more at www.317Board.org.