The Wednesday, June 20th session of the Greene County Legislature honored two Greene County Employees: naming Amy Block as 2018 Employee of the Year and Margaret “Maggie” Graham as the 2018 Chairman’s Award Winner. Both honors were delivered by the Chairman of the Legislature – Kevin Lewis of Greenville, NY.
Amy Block (pictured above) has more than 17 years of service with Greene County. She began her employment at the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Planning rising from the title of Clerk Typist to Housing Assistant and, ultimately, Housing Coordinator over an 11-year period. She also worked briefly as a Medical Billing Processor for Greene County Mental Health before becoming Office Manager with the Highway & Solid Waste Department; a title she has held for nearly five years.
Her strong communication and problem-solving skills make her easy to work with and have allowed her to successfully take on challenges for both the Highway and Solid Waste units that have been far outside her previous experience. For example, she is currently leading the effort to develop and install software to track and account for all transactions at the transfer stations, while at the same time, managing several other key projects in addition to her regular duties. She also worked above and beyond her title and job description during the Superintendent’s recent medical leave to keep the department’s administrative side running efficiently while keeping him in the loop at all times.
It was nearly 15 years ago that Margaret “Maggie” Graham (pictured above) began working for Greene County as a nurse practitioner, but not too many years passed before the chance to oversee all the County’s mental health services caught her attention. Being the go-getter she is, Maggie seized the opportunity to make her interests known and was later appointed Acting Director, then Director of Community Mental Health Services at the clinic in Cairo. Since then, Maggie has been at the forefront of innovation in her department and the mental health field. Her, seemingly, boundless energy and enthusiasm is demonstrative of the kind of caring and dedicated professional she is. Here are some of the many reasons why Maggie received this award:
With her help, Greene County was the first county in the United States to prove with data that, if a client is engaged in mental health services, we can keep the family intact.
As a member of the Rural Health Network, made medication drop boxes a reality, and enhanced mental health and drug/alcohol prevention services in the school systems.
She was the leading force in securing funds to initiate the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team which has been highly effective in its efforts to prevent and divert hospitalizations, as well as providing outreach services to the county’s most vulnerable population. Was also instrumental in securing additional funds for expansion of the team, creating two additional teams and increasing hours.
She was a key organizer of the Greene County Truancy/School Avoidance Taskforce which has developed policy aimed at bringing positive outcomes to both school districts and
She is a key member of the P.S. It On Committee which promotes prevention, raises awareness, and provides solutions for the use of drugs that destroy youth and adults in Greene County.
She is a key member of the Regional Planning Committee bringing in the Health Homes program, which coordinates care of the whole person (mental and physical health).
She single-handedly coordinated Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement and first responders throughout the county, using resources made available by the NYS Senate and allocated to the NYS Office of Mental Health.
She has been instrumental in bringing the Early Recognition and Screening Program to Greene County school districts and increasing community awareness of the early signs of mental health issues in children.
She co-chairs the Columbia-Greene Suicide Prevention Coalition and member of the Out of the Darkness Walk planning committee.
With her counterpart in Columbia County, she was instrumental in forming, and is co-chair of, the Columbia Greene Addiction Coalition, bringing providers together to combat the County’s opioid epidemic. She also sits on its prevention Advocated for and secured funding to initiate substance abuse treatment and a Vivitrol program in the county jail.
She made the Greene County Mental Health Center more user-friendly by opening its doors to walk-ins via an Open Access Clinic.
She sees the BIG picture in terms of gaps in local services and priority needs and has emphasized the need for housing and transportation resources so clients can be stable in the community.
She has accomplished all of this while still functioning as a nurse practitioner at the clinic, continuing to maintain a caseload of 20 adolescent and adult clients with medication management services, as well as providing medical coverage, when needed.
Maggie is a true asset to her community. She is a woman of distinction who leads by example, inspires others, and makes a difference in the lives of the population she serves. She has been a true gift to Greene County.