Auburn Hills, MI – December 5, 2017
The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities hosted their 1st annual Legacy Gala at The Lafayette Grande Banquet Facility in Pontiac last Thursday, November 30. It was an evening of food, art and philanthropy, with all proceeds directly benefiting prevention programming for Oakland County youth…keeping them safe, keeping them healthy!
Among the evening’s highlights was the youth art exhibit, a compilation of Oakland County’s youth voices expressed in multiple mediums, with a concentration on photography as a way to bring awareness to the way students in our County are living, and the experiences they are sharing. The awards ceremony highlighted five well-respected local leaders.
WILLIE BROOKS-OUTSTANDING LEGACY LEADERSHIP AWARD As the Executive director and CEO for Oakland Community Health Network, Willie Brooks leads his organization to identify, influence and deliver services to more than 25,800 Oakland County residents. He acts as the chief liaison between the organization’s service provider agencies like the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities; Board of Directors; people receiving services; community partners, and state legislators.
His legacy lies in a proactive, collaborative, innovative growth model that focuses on service delivery and community success that has a positive impact on the people we all serve. Willie’s leadership greatly impacts our work on the front lines in our communities – as the prevention coalitions, we now have proactive responses and resources to offer to our families affected by addictive substances through the new Sober Support Unit in partnership with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Common Ground; and the Medically Assisted Treatment program in Oakland County jails to name a few.
He both promotes and supports the necessary prevention work throughout Oakland County communities including that of our 19 prevention coalitions making the Alliance their largest funded prevention organization.
His long-standing commitment to his family, community, and those in need of help, continue to provide the framework that promotes his credibility and admiration as an outstanding leader. His legacy is inspiring.
SHERIFF MICHAEL BOUCHARD-LEGACY PREVENTION IMPACT AWARD With over 28 years of law enforcement history; 9 years in the Senate and 17 years as the Oakland County Sheriff, Michael Bouchard has impacted the communities we live in in a substantial way.
In 2010, with support from the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, he launched Operation Medicine Cabinet and has installed 13-drug drop off boxes in Oakland County Sheriff offices and substations and 23 local police departments. Operation Medicine Cabinet™ illustrates the Sheriff’s commitment to keeping all of our citizens safer, protecting our young people from the harmful misuse of prescription drugs, understanding the needs of seniors, and the environmental implications related to improper disposal of medications.
Most recently, under Sheriff Bouchard’s leadership, his office announced two new impactful programs: Rides for Recovery and a Medically Assisted Treatment program in the Oakland County Jail along with the Oakland Community Health Network.
The Rides for Recovery program is a seamless connection that allows residents throughout Oakland County to show up at the Sheriff’s office, or any substation, for transportation to the newly formed Sober Support Unit. All individuals are screened for treatment options, and placed in a treatment facility that matches the addicted individual’s needs thoroughly demonstrating his commitment to families whose lives are impacted by substance use disorders.
The Medically Assisted Treatment program in the county jail allows incarcerated individuals to seek treatment — upon their eventual release they would be taken to follow-up care and treatment centers for additional help.
His commitment to supporting coalition work spans decades and he has been essential to our increased efforts to keep Oakland County Safe and Healthy.
JUDGE EDWARD SOSNICK-LEGACY PREVENTION PARTNER AWARD Judge Edward Sosnick is retired from the Oakland County Circuit Court but HARDLY retired from advocating and partnering in areas of humanitarianism. During his judicial career, Judge Sosnick has received numerous honors, awards, and service credentials.
For the past 3 years, Judge Sosnick, as President of the Restore Foundation, has partnered with The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities on a new initiative called Resolve. This program was created to address the gaps of service and education specifically for individuals in early recovery and reduce both relapse and recidivism rates. While the program initially was written for at risk 18-25 year olds, it was quickly determined that all individuals who struggle with addiction will benefit from this intense 16 week course. Judge Sosnick is a vital component of Resolve and a driving force and advocate for the Alliance’s school and parent program called Keep Them Safe, Keep Them Healthy.
He is a key advocate for prevention, a deeply compassionate human being and a true collaborative partner making a difference for our organization and for the people we serve.
HONORABLE KIRSTEN NIELSEN-HARTIG-LEGACY PREVENTION ADVOCATE AWARD After spending 20 years in the courtroom as an attorney, Judge Hartig decided that she would seek a seat on the bench. In 2010 she was elected to a six-year term as one of 2 judges in the 52nd District Court in Oakland County. In her current position, Judge Hartig presides over Sobriety/Drug Court, which provides intensive one-on-one support for offenders who are heavily addicted to drugs or alcohol.
She was the first Sobriety Court judge to join The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities Oakland County Families Against Narcotics chapter as an advisory member. She is also an active member of the Troy Community Coalition. Judge Hartig has partnered with the Alliance at both Clawson and Troy Public schools to raise awareness among parents and youth, including student athletes, on the dangers of using opiate-based prescription painkillers. Her passion to raise awareness even extends to being our Run Drugs Out of Town Master of Ceremonies 2 years in a row where she shares her knowledge about how destructive drugs and alcohol can be not only to the individual in her court room but also the families that it impacts. Her determination to make a difference makes her a strong advocate for change and a passionate advocate for the Alliance.
STEPHANIE GREEN – YOUTH LEADERSHIP AWARD To be a teen today is a challenge in and of itself that most adults cannot imagine or navigate. The pressures of life; school, academics, college, future, family, friends – all coming at you during such formative years. Stephanie is a young person who meets these challenges head on. She is a Senior at Birmingham Groves High School and an active member of the Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition and the Youth Action Board (YAB). Having youth leadership within prevention coalitions is a critical asset to the success of the organization.
Her participation in the Alliance’s trip to CADCA this past winter and her experience in the National Youth Leadership Institute motivated her to engage even more and she became the inaugural president of the Oakland County Youth Collaborative, PEEPS (Peers Educating and Empowering Peers). One of the many projects that she led includes the photo voice exhibit on display this evening.
Stephanie believes that everyone has a duty to contribute to the society in which we all live. She has said that, “We may not all have the same natural ability or social standing, with working together, we can improve communities, we can inspire others, and we can assist those who are in need.”
Her leadership skills and drive to make her community a better place for all youth earns her a certificate of special senatorial recognition from Senator Gary Peters and the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities very first Youth Leadership award to Stephanie Green.
The Wachler Estate Collection, located at 162 N Old Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, was the lead sponsor for the event.
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Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, founded in 2004, is a 19-coalition prevention partnership based in Oakland County and predominantly funded by Oakland Community Health Network. The Alliance also represents the Oakland County chapter of Families Against Narcotics (FAN). Together, the members mobilize a diverse group of persons and organizations from all community sectors to take coordinated action in building healthier communities. For more information call (248) 221-7101 or visit www.achcmi.org.