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posted on February 11, 2011 13:52

Block Honored For Work in Substance Abuse Public Policy

Rep. Sharon Block (R-Twin Falls) is being honored as the recipient of the 8th annual Patricia Kempthorne Award in recognition for her work as a legislator who makes a difference in fighting substance abuse.

The media is invited to an awards ceremony honoring Block on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. This year’s award ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. in the House/Senate Auditorium of the Idaho Statehouse, Senate wing, garden level.

The Patricia Kempthorne Award is named in honor of former Idaho First Lady Patricia

Kempthorne, an avid advocate for substance abuse prevention and treatment. It is awarded each year by the Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, the community voice on the Interagency Committee on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.

Block is being singled out this year for her dedication to improvement of the substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery support services and mental health systems in Idaho. During the 2007 and 2008 Legislative Sessions, she sponsored or co-sponsored seventeen pieces of legislation to address these issues. She has served on the Interagency Committee on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ICSA) since its creation in July of 2006.

As a member of that committee she has worked with the directors of state agencies, community treatment/service providers, the courts and other organizations focused on reducing substance abuse among Idahoans. She is a member of the Health Care Task Force where she served as Co-chairman of the Mental Health Subcommittee. She also serves as a member of the Idaho State Mental Health Planning Council and the Suicide Prevention Council. She has attended national committee meetings and served on a number of state, regional, and local committees.

In addition to recognizing a legislator, the committees also honor individuals from

each corner of the state with Community Service Awards. This year’s honorees include:

• Patty McGruder, Community Outreach Case Manager for Dirne Community Health Center, Coeur d’ Alene

• Sharlene Johnson, Executive Director of Kamiah Community Partners Coalition, Kamiah

• Greg Munson, prevention advocate in Southwest Idaho

• Denise Arellano, founder, Idaho Inmate Education Fund, Boise

• Marlene Yardley, retired DHW employee and active community volunteer in Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Twin Falls

• Betty Moore, Region 6 RAC Prevention Sub-Committee Chair, Pocatello

• Carrie Crom, community volunteer, Idaho Falls

“Substance abuse prevention and treatment saves lives and state resources,” says Darren Richman, RAC Chair from Region 4. “The contributions of our community service honorees and Representative Block help to stretch precious funds further. We must continue to take action to prevent the costly outcomes, personal and societal, of substance abuse.”

(News Editors: For more information, contact Laura Thomas, Region 4 Community

Resources Development Specialist, at (208) 334-6866 or Joy Husmann at (208) 455-7108.)