Peace River Center Receives Spirit of Leadership Polk Award
From Polk Vision’s Leadership Polk Alumni Association

Peace River Center Receives Spirit of Leadership Polk Award


BARTOW, Fla., May 25 – Peace River Center (PRC), a licensed and nationally accredited, non-profit regional behavioral health care provider recently received the 2023 Spirit of Leadership Polk award from Polk Vision’s Leadership Polk Alumni Association. The award is given to a public or private organization that actively bridges the leadership gap. The Spirit of Leadership Polk Award serves to spotlight an organization operating across the county and in a way that specifically enhances the leadership pools in Polk’s communities.

During the award presentation on May 10, PRC was recognized as being widely known for helping individuals and providing services and resources to address critical challenges facing the community. The award nomination noted that PRC is actively engaged with Polk Vision and its Behavioral Health Team working to align resources with other providers to ensure patients’ total healthcare needs are met. Additionally, PRC received recognition for its positive messaging campaign, “Make it OK” which is aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. The organization’s “Recovery is a Marathon Not a Sprint” Virtual Recovery Run efforts were also highlighted as a way PRC took action to support mental well-being during the pandemic. The Virtual Run provided individuals with a way to show their support and boost their mental health by staying active and sharing their stories throughout September, which is National Mental Health Recovery Month.

PRC was noted as an innovative organization that has created expansion opportunities for community access to care and reduced mental health crisis recidivism. In partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, PRC officially replaced the deputy sheriff follow-ups, promptly connecting the community with wraparound services, which helps reduce repeat Baker Acts. This partnership model is being expanded to include the local police departments of Auburndale, Haines City, and Winter Haven.

“We are so proud and humbled to receive this prestigious award. Thanks to the hard work of our compassionate staff each and every day, we uphold our core values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence with every individual we serve,” said Peace River Center CEO Larry Williams.


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