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Commissioner Leake to Host Third Town Hall Meeting on Education Sept. 7
Mecklenburg County District 2 Commissioner Vilma D. Leake will host her third “A Cry for Education and District 2 Community Concerns” town hall meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Steele Creek A.M.E. Zion Church, 1500 Shopton Road, Charlotte. A networking opportunity will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program at 6 p.m.
Participants will have the chance to ask questions and talk to County, CMS and State representatives about their community concerns.
In addition to Leake, panelists will include:
• Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio• District 38 State Sen. Joel D. Ford• CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox • Former School Board Chair Arthur Griffin
For more information, contact LaShonda Hart at 980-314-2906 or LaShonda.Hart@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.
LUESA’s Air Quality Division Celebrates a Decade of GRADE
Today, Mecklenburg County Air Quality marks the 10th anniversary of the Grant to Replace Aging Diesel Engines Program (GRADE).
In 2007, the BOCC authorized $500,000 of property tax revenue as “seed” money to start GRADE. Since then, Air Quality staff have secured over $6.1 million in state and federal grants to further support the grant program. GRADE is designed to reduce ozone-forming air pollution by providing businesses and organizations funding incentives to replace or repower heavy-duty vehicles and equipment with newer, cleaner engines. GRADE grants have helped reduced more than 710 tons of ozone-forming air pollution over the last decade.
Programs like GRADE support our Land Use and Environmental Services Agency’s Strategic Business Plan objective to improve and maintain healthy air quality by reducing air pollution from cars, trucks and off-road equipment (Goal 3, Objective 1, Strategy A).
For more information about GRADE contact Air Quality Director Leslie Rhodes at 980-314-3366 or Leslie.Rhodes@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.
Assistant Health Director Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Congratulations to Connie Mele for receiving the Jim Edmundson Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies (NCFADS). Each year the foundation honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the fields of professional alcohol and drug prevention, treatment, counseling over the span of their career.
Having worked in Community Health since 1979, with a concentration in Behavioral Health, Mele has been focused on improving the quality of care for persons with mental disorders and substance use. She has held various positions over the years, and in 2015, became an assistant health director for the County.
Among Mele’s many achievements, are her success in obtaining a $1.5 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement a co-occurring Assertive Community Treatment Team program and serving as a partner in developing a SAMHSA grant for jail diversion veterans who have PTSD and/or TBI. She also brought community stakeholders together to develop a jail diversion program for people with behavioral health problems and was able to obtain $900,000 in recurring funding for the program. When this program was implemented in 2008, the jail census averaged over 2,800 inmates daily and through a number of initiatives, including this one, it now averages 1,400.
In July 2015, Mele was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson fellowship for Senior Public Health Nurses to address the culture of health for communities and nurses. This fellowship allows her to work with the Action Coalition of the Future of Nursing Initiative.
At the request of the North Carolina Governor’s Institute, she’s currently working on developing a curriculum on how to deal effectively with the addicted patient to be offered in all nursing schools.