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Monarch’s community garden earns ECBH “Partnering in Action” Award

East Carolina Behavioral Health (ECBH), a Local Management Entity and Managed Care Organization, recently ECBH award event2recognized exemplary individuals and agencies that provide behavioral health services and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in eastern North Carolina. ECBH held its first State of the Art Awards Banquet to recognize several honorees, including Monarch.

Monarch was one of eight organizations, out of numerous nominees, selected for the prestigious award that honors service and engagement in the community. The Partnering in Action award was presented to Monarch for its Monarch Ability Garden Integrating Community and Land (M.A.G.I.C.A.L.) initiative in New Bern, N.C. The award recognizes providers that collaborate with organizations to become more involved in local activities, because of the massive community involvement in its implementation, engagement and care.

"This award was a significant accomplishment for a project led by Monarch to be recognized by ECBH, a well-respected and established agency within I/DD and mental health. The M.A.G.I.C.A.L. project is just one example of the extensive community engagement that Monarch and the people we support enjoy in our communities across the state that we look forward to continually broadening," said Monarch’s Volunteer and Community Coordinator Eileen Bress.

The garden has helped Monarch develop numerous local partnerships throughout the New Bern community. From Eagle Scout candidates who raised money and built raised beds as their projects, to members from the Rotary Club of New Bern who wrote a grant and when awarded the proceeds, purchased building supplies and constructed garden beds to students volunteering from the Small Business Center at Craven Community College sustainable gardening course. The garden truly is a community effort.

"Partnering within our community is a natural progression,” explained Bress, who led the development of the organization’s garden in New Bern. “To go outside of ourselves and share in the gifts and talents of so many others is mutually beneficial."

The community garden in New Bern is one of several similar garden initiatives that Monarch has developed across the state. The ECBH Award Ceremony was held on Aug. 27 at the Hilton of Greenville in Greenville, N.C. During the event Bress accepted the award on behalf of Monarch.

Established in 1958, Monarch is a non-profit organization that provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and certified by The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as a Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency (CABHA). Monarch operates The Arc of Stanly County, which is a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States.                                                                                                                                                                                         
Pictured above: Monarch staff members (l-r) photographed with the ECBH Partnering in Action award following the Aug. 27 ceremony: Erma Brault, operations director; Eileen Bress, volunteer and community coordinator; Jim Kelley, chief operating officer; English Albertson, regional director; and Lori Meads, program director.

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