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NCCHCA Annual Awards

The North Carolina Community Health Center Association Awards Program was initiated in 2002, and over the years has paid tribute to many outstanding leaders from North Carolina’s community health centers and partners.

We will begin accepting nominations very soon!

Recipients of the Following Awards are Announced During the
Annual North Carolina Primary Care Conference



Health Center Advocate Award 2017

Begun in 2014, the NCCHCA Health Center Advocate Award is given to an individual who consistently and passionately engages health center staff, health center board members, community groups and others in grassroots advocacy and education to promote and protect the Health Center Program in NC. Candi

dates for the Health Center Advocate of the Year Award can be health center staff or board members who demonstrate a commitment to social justice and civic engagement.

2018 Award Winner: CommWell Health

The CommWell team stood out nationally in their efforts to activate staff, patients, and other allies to contact Congress to and ask them to fix the Community Health Center funding cliff. CommWell had already started to build a strong advocacy base before CHCs hit this crisis, with an entire team of Eage Advocates, and a system of signing up patients and other friends to become advocates.

The CommWell advocacy team may not have planned to spend 2017 and the beginning of 2018 mastering federal budget policy, or placing signs all over Dunn, North Carolina about CHC funding, or loading up a van full of advocates and driving to Washington DC to stand in front of Congressional buildings in the cold, but that’s what they did. The Eagle Advocacy team became the face of the CHC funding cliff fix movement, not just in North Carolina, but nationally.


2017--Gloria Brown, Piedmont Health
2016 - Janel Lewis, Stedman-Wade
2015 - Althea Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, MedNorth Community Health Center
2014 – Elaine Peebles Brown, Chair, Board of Trustees, Wake Health Services


Association Service Award

This award is given to an individual or organization that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. Enhancement may come in the areas of program development, improving financial status, improving relations with organizations, or in assistance to Association members.

 2018 Award Winner: The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society has served as extra hands for NCCHCA in improving health outcomes and quality of care. North Carolina Community Health Centers have improved Colorectal Cancer Screening rates by 10% over the past 5 years. ACS also provides assistance in other focus areas such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, improving rates of HPV vaccination and other cancer-related care.

2017 Recipient - Enroll American, Sorien Schmidt

View Past Service Award Recipients >>


Outstanding Provider Award

The Outstanding Provider Award recognizes a Provider who has worked in a North Carolina Community Health Center for at least five years, for commitment, compassion and superior contributions embodying the Community Health Center mission.

2018 Award Winner: Dr. James Carroll, MD 

“Health isn’t what we dole out, it’s what we create” said Dr. Carroll.  “There are so many factors involved: physical environment we live in, family ties, and the support that is given to make sure that everyone has as many opportunities as they can to succeed. I believe from as far back as I can remember that everybody has a right to have a fair shake in life, and over time, working in the medical field, it seems pretty clear that having equal access to medical care is incredibly important, but also equal access to clean water and healthy communities and a safe space to walk in, and having a system that helps to build ties among people… is so important.”


Dr. Carroll obtained his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical Center and completed his residency at MAHEC in Asheville, NC. It was important to him to stay in the community, and he joined Bakersville Community Health Clinic (now Mountain Community Health Partnership) in 1990. He has served there as Medical Director since 1999.

Dr. Carroll has taken a lead role in developing policies, procedures and guidelines to improve operations at what has evolved and grown into the Mountain Community Health Partnership. Dr. Carroll enjoys teaching and acts as a mentor and preceptor whenever possible. He is a true generalist, doing both inpatient and outpatient family medicine, obstetrics, and most recently, substance abuse treatment.


Dr. Carroll looks at medical practice as a public service to the patients and community.  He often stays late and comes in after hours to treat patients who would otherwise have to choose between an expensive ER visit and taking the risk of an illness getting out of control. “If we’re not active in trying to improve our communities, we’re letting them go,” he said.

2017 Recipient - Shaunna Perez,  Stedman Wade

View past Outstanding Provider Award recipients>>


Dr. Evelyn D. Schmidt Outstanding Service Award

Named to honor a pioneer in social and community medicine, the Evelyn D. Schmidt Outstanding Service Award recognizes a community-oriented organization that has improved access to care through innovative, comprehensive approaches.

2018 Award Winner: Gaston Family Health Services' Medication Assisted Treatment program

Gaston Family Health Services received this award for outstanding work through their Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program. The mission of the GFHS MAT program is to empower individuals and build self-efficacy to succeed in establishing and maintaining long-term recovery. GFHS began its Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program on November 1st, 2016. The GFHS MAT program works closely with community partners to extend opioid addiction treatment services to vulnerable populations, most notably pregnant women. This program seamlessly blends medication management and behavioral health care to treat opioid dependence for up to two years, while collaborating closely with obstetrics and/or primary care. With 84% of the GFHS MAT patient population, we have worked to create a robust program tailored toward pregnant women, providing individualized care personalized to their birthing experience, conducting monthly parenting groups, and coordinating with any other involved agencies such as CC4C and Child Protective Services.

Past Schmidt Award recipients

2017 Recipient: Positive Live - CommWell Health

Legislative Award

The NCCHCA Legislative Award is presented to an individual within the legislative or administrative branches of federal or state government who has made significant contribution to the community health field by affecting legislation that impacts NCCHCA members. The recipient has demonstrated, over a period of time, his/her belief in and support of the goals and purposes of the Community Health Center Movement.

2017 Recipient - Representative Donny Lambeth

View past Legislative Award recipients >>

Robert J. Greczyn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award 2017

NCCHCA is excited to continue our partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina celebrating the Robert J. Greczyn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award. Now in the 9th year of a 10 year commitment, this award honors a community health center professional who excels in service to his or her fellow North Carolinians.

The Robert J. Greczyn Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award honors a health center professional excelling in service to his or her fellow North Carolinians. The recipient will be presented with a commissioned vase handcrafted by renowned North Carolina potter Ben Owen III along with a $25,000 unrestricted grant that will go toward advancing the work of their community health center.

Past Greczyn Award Recipients >>

2017 Recipients-- Phil Harewood, Lincoln Community Health and Pamela Tripp, CommWell Health
2016 — Reuben Blackwell, OIC Family Medical Center
2015 — Greg Bounds, Phd, CEO, Goshen Medical Center
2014 — Brian O. Harris, MHA, CEO, Rural Health Group
2013 — Kim Schwartz, Executive Director, Roanoke-Chowan Community Health Center
2012 — Doug Smith, CEO, Greene County Health Care, Inc.
2011 — Robert E. Spencer, Executive Director, Gaston Family Health Services, Inc.
2010 — Brian Toomey, CEO, Piedmont Health Services

Steve Shore Community Catalyst Award (presented at the East Coast Migrant Stream Forum)

In 2003, the North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA), celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. To commemorate this important milestone, NCCHCA chose to recognize its migrant health legacy through the creation of the annual Steve Shore Community Catalyst Award. Steve Shore was the second Executive Director of NCCHCA, serving in the position for eleven years from 1987 to 1998. It was under his leadership that NCCHCA initiated several important migrant health activities, including the first East Coast Migrant Stream Forum.

As a tribute to Steve Shore and his commitment to improving the health and well-being of farmworkers, NCCHCA honors the legacies of others who share this same vision through the Steve Shore Community Catalyst Award. Each year, through a nomination and selection process, NCCHCA identifies an individual or one organization involved in farmworker health, whose work has incited positive change in the health and wellness of farmworkers and demonstrates

  • First, Awareness - Works to identify and raise awareness in the community about the health and lives of farmworkers and their families.
  • Second Advocacy - Promotes and advocates for policy and practices that improve the health and access to health care for farmworkers and their families.
  • Leadership: Leads and influences issues affecting the health of farmworkers and their families and inspires excellence in others.
  • Last, Partnership: Partners with other advocates and agencies in the community on initiatives that aim to enhance the health and lives of farmworkers and their families.

This year, the Steve Shore Community Catalyst award goes to Karin Hoffman, Director of Migrant and Hispanic Outreach of Rural Medical Services in Parrottsville, Tennessee.

Karin directs an outreach program which has existed in Eastern TN for over 25 years and each summer serves migratory tomato workers from Florida and Georgia as well as serves the substantial population of seasonal families working in tobacco and tomatoes. She joined the program nine years ago after being a Peace Corps volunteer.

Karin has been especially effective in creating partnerships both within her organization and with outside partners which promote innovation within her program. She oversees a promotor program which promotes women’s and prenatal health. She partners strongly with Migrant Head Start and the Department of Social Services on screenings for migrant children as well as coordination of Medicaid enrollment. She regularly hosts student interns from East Tennessee State University and partners with researchers there on reducing pesticide exposure, musculoskeletal stress, and heat stress for tomato workers in the fields. Other collaborations include churches, the local Substance Abuse Coalition, and the National Center for Farmworker Health Call for Health program which she uses to fund emergency dental care and surgery.

As Karin’s co-workers say about her, “Karin has strong and natural leadership qualities. She is the kind of person who always advocates for the patient.”

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