Notable Community Leaders Recognized for Achievements At Meridian’s Annual Board Meeting


Fact: Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. was named a top three nonprofit of the year by the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce for 2018.

Gainesville, Fla. – At Santa Fe’s Fine Arts Hall, before an audience of 120, which included many of North Central Florida’s notable community leaders, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare held its annual awards ceremony, honoring the achievements of community partners and its staff in promoting and providing mental health wellness throughout the region.

Meridian’s coveted Community Award was given to Chief Tony Jones and Retired Lieutenant Whitney Stout, both of the Gainesville Police Department, Anthony Lyons of The City of Gainesville, and Michael Blessing of LSF Health Systems, for their success in curbing arrest rates by instituting a co-responder program, in which a licensed clinician rides with a police officer.

Other awards, such as Employee and Supervisor of the Year, were also distributed by Meridian’s CEO, Maggie Labarta, and the outgoing Board Chair, Sinoma Brown, to staff members who exemplified an unwavering commitment to meeting the mental health needs of North Central Florida throughout the previous fiscal year.

The night was a fantastic opportunity for area humanitarians at all levels to connect and build on their respective efforts to positively affect their communities. Invitations to next year’s ceremony will arrive ahead of time. Be sure to RSVP as indicated. In the meantime, download a copy of Meridian’s 2018 Annual Report for insight into their widespread and lasting impact on North Central Florida.

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