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Special Guest to Present "Spirit of Meridian" Award at Rialzo

Mar 7

Written by:
Tuesday, March 7, 2017  RssIcon

from TheStarPress

MUNCIE, Ind. – Meridian Health Services is proud to announce Jim McClelland, Indiana’s Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement, is presenting this year’s Spirit of Meridian award at Rialzo VIII in April.

The eighth annual Rialzo Charity Gala, themed “There’s No Place Like Home,” will raise money to create specialized programs for drug-addicted mothers and their newborn babies.

Opioid addiction among expecting mothers has become a statewide health concern and is impacting thousands of newborn infants each year. In an 18 month period, a local hospital experienced 280 of 2,500 infants born were diagnosed with or at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), babies born withdrawing from opioids. That’s an average of about 15 babies per month.

The 2017 Spirit of Meridian will be awarded to the team of nurses and staff at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. “Meridian wants to honor the tireless work of the NICU team who deal with this issue daily,” said Hank Milius, President/CEO Meridian Health Services. All funds raised are earmarked toward a new outpatient program to provide additional supports and services to this group of mothers.

The Spirit of Meridian recognizes a person or persons who have contributed to the health and well-being of the community and have gone above and beyond the call of duty. These outstanding individuals also exemplify the Meridian philosophy of “whole-person” health.

McClelland, former CEO of Goodwill Industries in central Indiana, is the state’s first executive director of drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. It’s a new position created in an executive order signed by Governor Eric Holcomb to reduce statewide addiction. With this new position, McClelland is in charge of coordinating drug-related activities of nine state agencies while developing and leveraging resources from other sectors to increase impact.

“We feel bringing McClelland to Rialzo really helps focus the purpose behind our event,” said Hank Milius. “We’re thankful he’s taking the opportunity to join us in showing appreciation for these hard-working nurses and raising awareness to the issue.”

Rialzo is Meridian’s annual charity gala that hosts nearly 1,000 guests and raises funds for special healthcare programs and services each year. This year’s funds will go toward the organization’s new initiative targeting addiction, the Maternal Treatment Program, support for mothers facing addiction.

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