New Board Members Boost The Martinsburg Initiative

  • New Board Members Boost The Martinsburg Initiative

    New Board Members Boost The Martinsburg Initiative

    The Martinsburg Initiative (TMI), the innovative partnership that has developed a model solution to the national problem of opiate addiction and abuse, has taken a giant step forward with the addition of three new members to the organization’s Executive Board.  The groundbreaking program which is spearheaded by the Martinsburg Police Department, Berkeley County Schools, and Shepherd University, continues to grow.  Joining TMI’s leadership team are Tom Carr, Executive Director of the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program; Stacie Rohn, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle, and Tiffany Hendershot, Clinical Social Worker with the Berkeley County Schools.

    Tom Carr has served as Executive Director of Washington/Baltimore HIDTA since 1994.  The HIDTA program is funded by federal grants administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).  HIDTA addresses drug-related issues by supporting and collaborating with law enforcement, treatment, and prevention partners.  Director Carr has a distinguished career in drug enforcement, investigation, treatment, and prevention.  Tom formerly served as Chief of the Maryland State Police Bureau of Drug Enforcement, Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, and Executive Director of the State Office of Strategic Drug Enforcement Coordination.

    “I am honored to serve on The Martinsburg Initiative Executive Board and have the opportunity to work with the dedicated professionals from Martinsburg and Berkeley County in their efforts to stem the use and abuse of illegal drugs,” Carr stated.  “The Washington/Baltimore HIDTA has joined forces with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring additional resources to Berkeley County,” he announced.  Director Carr recently submitted a discretionary grant proposal to the Office of National Drug Control Policy seeking funds to support The Martinsburg Initiative.  “I’m confident that these additional resources, when paired with the Martinsburg Initiative, will significantly impact on the problem,” Carr said.

    Stacie Rohn is a native of the Eastern Panhandle and has spent her professional career working with under-served children and families in West Virginia.  Stacie has worked and volunteered for Boys & Girls Clubs for over 20 years and now serves as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer.  Recognized for her exceptional service, Stacie was recently selected as the 2017 West Virginia Mother of the Year.  “It takes a community working together to help children find a positive outcome in their lives,” Rohn said.  “I’m excited to be part of The Martinsburg Initiative’s Executive Board, Rohn stated.  “The Boys & Girls Club already has a great partnership with the Martinsburg Police Department and the Berkeley County Schools.  It’s only going to get better,” she added.

    Tiffany Hendershot is a clinical social worker employed by Berkeley County Schools currently working at Winchester Avenue and Tuscarora Elementary Schools.   It isn’t a coincidence that Tiffany became involved with The Martinsburg Initiative.  When she learned about the Initiative and its focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) she looked for ways she could use it to bring resources to the students at Winchester Avenue.  “I see these kids come to school with a backpack full of emotional baggage. They are experiencing so much stress and they can’t focus on school work because they’re living in a state of survival,” Tiffany stated.  “The ACE study proves that the more physical and emotional trauma children experience, the more likely they will end up using heroin or other drugs.  When we stop or reduce these bad experiences, we stop or reduce future drug use.  It’s that simple,” she added.  “The Martinsburg Initiative is going to make a real difference for children and our community,” said Hendershot.  “I appreciate the chance to help make it happen as a member of the Executive Board.”

    Tiffany has taken a lead role in successfully starting The Martinsburg Initiative at Winchester Avenue Elementary School, organizing an afterschool karate class at the Adam Stephen Homes and helping enroll kids in the Boys & Girls Club.  She was recently presented the “Partners in Prevention” award by The Children’s Home Society.  Tiffany Hendershot is a WVU graduate and member of the 167th Air National Guard.

    While recognizing that a successful fight against drugs must be simultaneously waged on three levels—enforcement, treatment, and prevention; The Martinsburg Initiative is based upon the premise that effective prevention is the single most effective long-term solution to drug addiction.  This groundbreaking effort is applying the recognized science of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study that demonstrates the link between traumatic events in childhood with future drug addiction.

    The TMI Executive Board is a leadership team providing overall planning, direction, and operation of the initiative.  The new leaders join the current Board members:  Maury Richards, Ed.D, Chief of Police of the Martinsburg Police Department; Manny Arvon, Superintendent of Berkeley Schools; Virginia Hicks, Ph.D., Assistant Provost for Academic and Community Outreach at Shepherd University; Penny Porter, CEO of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle; Katie Spriggs, Program Director of the Shenandoah Women’s Center; Rev. Julie Harris, Vice President of the Berkeley County Ministerial Association; Veronique Walker, Ed.D., Director of Diversity and Student Support Services, Berkeley County Schools; Michael Brumage, MD, Executive Director and Health Officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department; Steven Roach, Martinsburg Educator; and William Ihlenfeld, former United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia.