For the Miami Valley Today
MIAMI VALLEY — Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak is the 2021 recipient of the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services Geraldine B. Nelson Advocacy Award. The award was presented on Nov. 17 at his office.
In presenting the award, Tri-County Board Executive Director Terri Becker said, “First as chief deputy under the previous sheriff of Miami County, and now as sheriff in his own right, Dave Duchak has been and continues to be an exemplary Crisis Intervention Team leader. Under Sheriff Duchak’s leadership, more than 90 road deputies and corrections officers have completed the Tri-County Crisis Intervention Team Academy since its inception in 2006, accounting for 1 in 4 CIT Academy graduates in the Tri-County Board area.”
But Duchak’s embrace of the principles of CIT go far beyond the Academy, Becker continued. “In late 2020, after a spike in the number of suicide attempts in the jail, Sheriff Duchak reached out seeking a solution,” she said. Together they approached the board’s contracted mental health provider in the county, Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio, to devise a solution. RWC was able to identify a crisis counselor who could be embedded at the jail for faster response and better monitoring of incarcerated individuals.
Duchak is a leader in prevention as well. Duchak contracted with Robertson Brain Health, a Michigan-based not-for-profit arm of a brain research and performance optimization organization, to bring a program called Protect the Protectors to Miami County.
Geraldine B. Nelson served as the Community Relations director at the Tri-County Board for 25 years. Nelson retired in 1995 and passed away shortly after in 1996. Her strides in advocacy were locally and nationally recognized. She not only impacted the local system, but the Tri-County community as a whole. In memory and in honor of Nelson, the Geraldine B. Nelson Advocacy Award is presented to individuals and groups who demonstrate exceptional advocacy, as Nelson had, in the realm of mental health and addiction issues.
For the complete transcript of the presentation and to read about previous recipients, go to the board’s website at www.tcbmds.org/geraldine-b-nelson-award.