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Posted on: May 24, 2023

Spokane County Earns National Achievement Awards

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- Spokane County received two Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

The programs nationally recognized by NACo are: Veteran Services for a partnership with the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, and Community Services for the Spokane County Initiative for Student Wellness (ISW): School-Based Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SB-SBIRT) Program.

“We are proud of our team for bringing such innovative programs to Spokane County.  The important work these programs serve illustrate the County’s commitment to connecting every resident to the resources they need to thrive,” said Mary Kuney, Spokane County Commissioner, 2023 Board Chair and Washington State Association of Counties President.

The DoD SkillBridge program matches service members with civilian employment opportunities that reflect the individual’s military professional training. This gives transitioning service members the opportunity to continue with their career field in the civilian sector while being given the tools to successfully adapt to a new workplace environment.

The ISW:SB-SBIRT is an intervention and treatment program for youth in response to growing mental health and substance use challenges.  Using a universal screening tool and questionnaire, follow-up services can be provided based on various risk factors and needs.

“The leadership, initiative and innovation from Chris Dorcheus [Veteran Services] and Justin Johnson [Community Services] are truly inspiring, said Cat Nichols, Senior Director of Community Services. “It’s about connecting people to the right services. It’s not one size fits all, and they understand that.”

Each year, NACo’s Achievement Awards are given in 18 categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and more. Launched in 1970, the program is designed to recognize innovation in county government. Each nominated program is judged on its own merits and not against other applications.

“The Achievement Awards demonstrate excellence in county government and the commitment to serve our residents every day,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and collaborative efforts we have seen in over 50 years of presenting these awards.”

For more information about NACo’s Achievement Awards, click here.

Award Cert: ISW:SB-SBIRT

Award Cert: DoD SkillBridge program

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