For Immediate Release

May 16, 2002

Talmage Baggett Presented
2002 County Commissioner
Leadership Award

Greensboro, NC - Mr. Talmage Baggett, Board Member of Cumberland Area Program has been given the NC Council of Community Programs 2002 County Commissioner Leadership Award to honor his commitment to those in need of mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services.

Mr. Baggett was honored at a special award's banquet on May 2, 2002, hosted by the NC Council of Community Programs. Cumberland Area Director Tom Miriello described Mr. Baggett's many contributions saying, "Talmage Baggett is a pioneer, leader and friend. During one of the toughest budget years ever, it was his efforts and leadership that made it possible for us to get through it without having to Pictured l-r: Hank Debnam, the new Director of the Cumberland County Mental Health Center, Commissioner Talmage S. Baggett and Tom Miriello, the immediate past Director of the Mental Health Center.cut services. Without his willingness to fight for what was needed, and then take forward the concerns of people, services would have been greatly impacted. During recent county budget cuts which would have resulted in an across the board $100,000 reduction, Commissioner Baggett got those funds restored to the area program. Commissioner Baggett also led the charge to see that major renovations to our detox center and inpatient substance abuse unit were both funded and completed. Mr. Baggett is also a Trustee on our local Hospital Board, this relationship has played a key role in facilitating more productive relationship between the Hospital and the mental health center, thus advancing a more unified system of continuous quality care. In Cumberland County, we know we have made progress because of Commissioner Baggett's leadership."

Other Leadership Award winners recognized along with Mr. Clary included: Mrs. N. Del Murphy, Area Board Award, Onslow Area Program; Mr. Ron Yowell, Lifetime Career Award, Smoky Mountain Area Program; Mr. Pete Clary, Citizen Volunteer Award, CenterPoint Human Services; Rep. Verla Insko, Representative Leadership Award, Sen. William Purcell, Senate Leadership Award and Mr. Mike Watson, Allan D. Spader Award, Sandhills Area Program.

The NC Council of Community Programs is the State Association for Area Authorities who are the public providers of treatment and rehabilitation services for persons disabled by mental illness, developmental disabilities and alcohol and drug abuse - serving over 300,000 individuals each year.

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