a doctor talking to a patient
Thursday, February 2, 2023

Agape Health Services- Awarded Community Leader of the Year 2022

The Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce held its 119th annual barbecue banquet on Thursday night (Jan. 26) at the Washington Civic Center where they announced the winners of the Meritorious Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, Community Leader of the Year, and Business of the Year. The Community Leader of the Year award was presented to Agape Health Services. Agape is a nonprofit which provides medical care, behavioral health, dental health, public health, and pharmacy services to low-income families and individuals in Eastern North Carolina. In Washington and Hyde County, Agape has five school-based health sites and an integrated Care Mobile Health Unit that serves all patient populations. They also are certified community Behavioral Health Clinic and have initiated chronic disease and chronic pain management education programs and implemented a national hypertension control initiative.   “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Agape was instrumental in assisting the City of Washington Police and Fire Department with obtaining Covid testing in a timely manner and receiving results in a day. This allowed the City to maintain its public safety obligation without disruption. Also, during this time, they partnered with the City of Washington Police Department to start 2 major initiatives: The first one is The LEAD program (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) which is a pre-booking program designed to divert low-level offenders from the traditional criminal justice system to appropriate individualized treatment services. A LEAD case manager will work with the person to refer them to an array of services such as mental health and drug treatment, harm reduction housing, and supportive services,” Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell said when presenting the award to Agape, “The second one is so important, and it is Mental Health Collaboration. This partnership allows the City of Washington Police Department to have a co-responder approach to dealing with persons in a mental crisis. The mental health professional can respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when the police department sees a need. The new police station, once completed, will house this personnel. Each patrol shift will have an assigned mental health professional. This program will allow for a more comprehensive approach to mental health issues in Beaufort County which we can all agree will benefit our community.”