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HUNTINGTON - Nominations are open for the Michael Prestera Award of Excellence through Friday, June 21.

This prestigious award recognizes individuals whose contributions have resulted in reducing stigma or improving services or supports for persons with mental health and/or substance use problems in Cabell, Mason, Lincoln, Wayne, Kanawha, Clay, Boone or Putnam counties in West Virginia.

This is the 23rd year the award has been given. Criteria for nominees include a person who may have:

n Improved health care and the lives of individuals with mental health and/or substance use related difficulties;

n Promoted advancements in education and technology in mental health and/or substance use;

n Developed community networks and systems that ultimately improve the lives of individuals with substance use difficulties, severe mental illness and other mental health difficulties throughout the community.

n Worked to de-stigmatize mental illness or substance use.

Previous winners of the Michael Prestera Award of Excellence include Mildred Bateman, M.D. (1996), Joan E. Ross (1997), Betty Barrett (1998), William Dotson (1999), WV Delegate Margarette Leach (2000), Francie Roberts-Buchannon (2001), William Wright (2002), Maurice Cooley (2003), WV Senator Robert Plymale (2004), James Weiler (2005), WV Delegate Don Perdue (2006), Scott Finn (2006), Linda Pleasants (2007), Jack Clohan (2007), Debby Hibbard and Dr. Ron Duerring (2008), Frank Markun (2009), Karen Yost (2010), Dan Hedges (2011), WV Delegate Jim Morgan (2012), Bob Hansen (2013), Dave Forinash (2014), WV Governor Tomblin (2015), US Attorney Booth Goodwin (2016), US Senator Joe Manchin (2017) and Christopher Dean (2018). This year's winner will be honored at the Prestera Annual Board of Director's meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019.

To submit a nomination for this prestigious award, contact Elizabeth.Miller@prestera.org for a nomination form and return it to Karen.Yost@Prestera.org no later than Friday, June 21. Nominations may also be faxed to 304-697-1251, or mailed to Karen Yost, MPA Nominations, Prestera Center, 5600 U.S. 60 East, Huntington, WV 25705