The Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health (SCCCMH) named Judge James E. D. Doern as its 2017 Citizen of the Year.
Judge Doern was honored at the group’s Mental Health Matters benefit at Longfellows Restaurant on May 3.
According to the mental health organization, Judge Doern’s community commitment dates to the early 1990s, beginning with his work with Rotary and continuing through the present with his dedication to a number of advocacy and human services organizations.
As Saratoga Springs City Court Judge for 18 years, he recognized the impact of un-met mental health, addiction, housing, transportation, and employment needs on people’s ability to function happily and productively in our community. As a result, Doern has worked tirelessly to improve the scope and collaboration of the community’s services.
In 2015, he was the force behind the establishment of a monthly gathering of human service providers, the mental health and substance abuse coalition. The purpose of this group is to identify and then rectify gaps in the continuum of care.
Officials said under Doern’s leadership, there has been improved coordination of available county services, as well as increased services. For instance, additional treatment services were introduced in the County Correctional Facility; public transportation allowing access to essential addiction services was restored; steps to improve public health and safety during the summer entertainment season have been initiated; and the Suicide Prevention Coalition was established.
It is for these contributions that the SCCCMH is recognizing Doern as the 2017 Citizen of the Year.
SCCCMH is a nonprofit, charitable organization that distributes grant money to agencies and programs in Saratoga County so they can enrich existing programs or expand services for people living with mental illness.
The SCCCMH also provides affordable educational opportunities for professionals and consumers, advocates for improved mental health care and services, and is committed to increasing public awareness.
For more information, visit www.SCCCMH-Saratoga.org or contact Peggy Lounsbury, chairperson, at 583-8371.