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National Recovery Month Planning Partners Honor Craig S. Stenning


National Recovery Month Planning Partners Honor Rhode Island’s Craig S. Stenning with 2012 Ramstad-Kennedy Award for Outstanding Leadership
Entertainment Industries Council
August 1, 2012

Baltimore, MD. 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.


Keywords: recovery month, planning partners, honor, rhode island, craig s. stenning, ramstad-kennedy, award, outstanding, leadership

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