National Recovery Month Planning Partners Honor Rhode Island’s Craig S. Stenning with 2012 Ramstad-Kennedy Award for Outstanding Leadership

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The award, presented by over 100 collaborating partner organizations, recognizes a Single State Agency Director each year who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of recovery and Recovery Month at the national “Innovation in Treatment and Recovery Systems” conference in Baltimore, MD.

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Craig Stenning and the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare team have strengthened communities, families and instilled within their constituencies a spark of hope that should inspire and empower us all...- Brian Dyak

Craig Stenning, Director, Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, was awarded the Ramstad-Kennedy Award for Outstanding Leadership by the National Recovery Month Planning Partners today at the national “Innovation in Treatment and Recovery Systems” conference in Baltimore, MD. The award, presented by over 100 collaborating partner organizations, recognizes a Single State Agency Director each year who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of recovery and Recovery Month and to acknowledge Congressmen Jim Ramstad (ret.) and Patrick Kennedy (ret.) for their commitment to recovery and recovery-oriented policies. Among his many contributions to supporting recovery, Stenning was honored for his efforts to change the landscape of treatment and recovery for incarcerated individuals. The conference is being hosted by the State Systems Development Program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Mr. Stenning has provided outstanding leadership and innovation in promoting the goals of the National Recovery Month in and around Rhode Island. He has strengthened and expanded activities within his agency and throughout other state agencies to impart great change, and for that, we salute his efforts and hope his leadership inspires others to do the same,” said Robert “Bob” Lindsey, President/CEO the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), a Recovery Month Planning Partner, who presented the award. “Plain and simple, Craig’s work, along with many others in Rhode Island and across the country, has broken down walls and created opportunities for recovery to be more accessible to millions of individuals and families.”

During his tenure at the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Stenning is credited with the creation of recovery coaches at the Department of Corrections, training those with lived experience with mental illness to become employed as peer wellness coaches in Health Home teams at the Community Mental Health Organizations statewide. He is also applauded for his leadership during the 2nd Annual Project Immersion, a two-day educational experience designed to increase provider knowledge of military life, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury associated with returning military members and their families. The Rally4Recovery has also grown exponentially in the past decade, from 50 to 5000 participants and earning Stenning’s area the distinguished honor of serving as the 2013 Rally4Recovery National Hub for Recovery Month.

“Craig Stenning has risen to be a dedicated, innovative advocate and leader on behalf of recovery for both individuals with substance use disorders and for their impacted communities and families,” said Sis Wenger, President/CEO of Planning Partner National Association for Children of Alcoholics. “His outstanding leadership and commitment include supporting and participating in Recovery Month activities in his state; embracing and supporting recovery services across sectors, including the military, those with first-person experiences in mental health and those who are incarcerated; he has played a major role in helping addicted individuals and families benefit from the many pathways to recovery.”

“There are great challenges inherent in undertaking issues of this magnitude. Craig Stenning and the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare team have strengthened communities, families and instilled within their constituencies a spark of hope that should inspire and empower us all to reach above and beyond to continue to change attitudes and behaviors surrounding substance use,” said Brian Dyak, President and CEO, Entertainment Industries Council.

The Ramstad-Kennedy Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 2008 to honor the extraordinary efforts and passionate leadership of the Honorable Jim Ramstad (R-MN-retired) and Patrick Kennedy (D-RI-retired) for bringing equity in care to people with addiction and mental illness. It is presented each year to the head of a state agency overseeing addiction prevention, treatment and recovery services and for outstanding support for recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, including actively supporting each September’s Recovery Month activities and programs.

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About Entertainment Industries Council
EIC, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1983 by leaders of the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to bear on communication about health and social issues. The organization is considered to be the chief pioneer of entertainment outreach and one of the premiere success stories in the field of entertainment education. EIC provides information resources for entertainment creators through innovative and time-proven services and methods of "encouraging the art of making a difference" from within the entertainment industry. EIC produces the simulcast national television special PRISM Awards Showcase which addresses accurate portrayals of prevention, treatment and recovery from drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and mental health concerns. The organization also produces the S.E.T Awards, honoring positive and non-stereotypical portrayals of science, engineering and technology.

EIC also addresses issues such as diabetes, ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, foster care, women's health, firearm safety and injury prevention, sun safety and skin cancer prevention, human trafficking, terrorism and homeland security, eating disorders and obesity, seat belt use and traffic safety, and HIV/AIDS prevention. The organization has also launched an initiative to increase the public profile and interest in science, engineering and technology. EIC’s web site is http://www.eiconline.org. The PRISM Awards web site is http://www.prismawards.com.

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