Alliance Honors People and Agencies who Make a Difference in our Communities

Each May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Alliance Health recognizes people and organizations who have made extraordinary efforts to improve life in their communities with our Making A Difference Awards. Below is information about this year’s honorees in each of the counties we serve.

Cumberland County:

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health was honored because of exceptional efforts to provide services to the community during during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency provided current information and safety measures on COVID-19 for its staff and the community, and conducted a community-wide vaccine drive-through when the vaccine was made available.

The Emergency Department of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center was honored for extraordinary efforts on behalf of Cumberland County citizens. The Emergency Department was a life saver to many people with COVID-19 and the staff demonstrated amazing professionalism, kindness and respect to people in their care.

Durham County

Armenous Dobson receives his Making a Difference Award from Ashley Bass-Mitchell

Armenous Dobson, left, Program Specialist for Insight Human Services, receives his Making a Difference Award from Ashley Bass-Mitchell

Armenous Dobson III, a Program Specialist for Insight Human Services as well as a husband and father, was honored for being a leader in the community, an advocate of hope, and a voice of positivity. Mr. Dobson is always open, honest, transparent and present in meetings and takes on many leadership roles with in the community while also working with youth in our schools to provide them with resources and mentorship.

James Keaton, the Director of School Nutrition Services for Durham Public schools, was honored for his tireless efforts before and during the pandemic to make sure that Durham Public School youth are nutritiously feed. During the pandemic he stepped up even more to close food gaps for our students and families, kept the community abreast regarding the accommodations made for families to receive food, and set up volunteer opportunities.

Rodney Jenkins, Health Director of the Durham County Department of Public Health, receives the department's Making a Difference award

Rodney Jenkins, Health Director of the Durham County Department of Public Health, receives the department’s Making a Difference award from Ashley Bass-Mitchell.

Durham County Department of Public Health, which has always been a place of resources, connections and ensuring the wellbeing of individuals, youth and families, was honored for stepping up to help the community navigate through the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duke Regional Hospital Emergency Department was honored for  their efforts to compassionately and thoroughly provide services to individuals, youth and families within the community. This life saving group often works behind the scenes to ensure that those in crisis and enduring an array of challenges are still met with understanding and care, no matter the circumstances.

Welcome Baby staff receive their Making a Difference Award

Welcome Baby staff receive their Making a Difference Award from Ashley Bass-Mitchell.

Welcome Baby, which provides parent support programs and other resources for families with children aged 0-5, was honored for their extra efforts during the pandemic crisis to help fulfill community needs and offer support to families in the community.

Duke University Hospital Emergency Department, an already very busy Level 1 trauma center, was honored for their extra efforts during the pandemic to care for those in need, even at a risk to themselves. They also created a safety net of care and for families that could not be with their loved ones during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives. They rose up and met head-on the unfamiliar Covid19 challenge.

Johnston County

Johnston County Making a Difference Award honorees

Johnston County Making a Difference Award honorees.

Dr. Amanda Allen, the Director of Social and Emotional Learning for Johnston County Public Schools Student Services & Office of Equity, Information and Student Services and the Chair of the Johnston County Community Collaborative, was honored for the tireless efforts she and her staff make on behalf of children and families throughout Johnston County.

Johnston County Emergency Services, which provides leadership and support to minimize the impact of disasters and other emergencies, was honored for rising above and beyond their mission to care for those most in need during the Covid19 pandemic.

The Johnston County Public Health Department, known as the “physician for the community,” was honored for rising to the challenge of carefully, strategically and safely navigating the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wake County

Oak City Cares, which provides comprehensive supports to help people address basic needs and access services they need to move out of homelessness, was honored for their ongoing service to Wake County residents who are experiencing or are at risk for homelessness. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 2021-November 2021, Oak City Cares served 730 Wake County residents with weekday services and provided 25,000 meals through their weekend meals program.

Teneisha Towe

Teneisha Towe

Shea Cleveland

Shea Cleveland

Teneisha Towe and Shea Cleveland, who have served as Chair and Co-Chair of the Wake County Community Collaborative for Children and Families since 2014, were honored for their ongoing service to Wake County. Under their leadership, the Wake County Collaborative did not miss a beat during the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly adapted to a virtual world, ensuring that the collaborative’s work continue during the challenging time.

Wake County Public Health was honored for rising to meet unparalleled challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, responding nimbly and efficiently to address the quickly changing health crisis.

The Emergency Department of Wake Med Hospital was honored for their tireless work for the health and safety of Wake County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. While pandemic effects have been pervasive, emergency departments have shouldered an outsized share of the burden.