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TDMHSAS Employee Receives National Recognition

Award honors Liz Ledbetter’s work with Veterans Treatment Courts in Tennessee
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | 03:39pm

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Longtime state employee Liz Ledbetter today received the Hank Pirowski Award for her efforts to create and expand Veterans Treatment Courts in Tennessee.  The award was presented by Justice for Vets in National Harbor, MD at the annual conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

Ledbetter first joined TDMHSAS in 1995 and rejoined the department when the state’s recovery courts were transferred in 2012.  In the time since, the state, partner communities, and local judges have created nine Veterans Treatment Courts opening the door to treatment and veteran mentoring services for nearly 1,000 men and women who are involved in the criminal justice system.  In her role as Recovery Court Administrator, Ledbetter supported the creation of new courts and was instrumental in creating training opportunities that allowed veteran mentors who serve with the courts to learn how to use their experience to guide other veterans through the program.

“Liz has truly been tireless in her work to increase treatment options for Tennesseans who have served our country.  She’s been a real advocate for people to have the opportunity to get their lives back,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.

“I am truly humbled to receive this award,” said TDMHSAS Recovery Court Administrator Liz Ledbetter.  “When you see the difference that the Veterans Treatment Courts and all of our recovery courts make in the lives of their participants, it’s easy to become passionate about that mission.”

The award is named for Hank Pirowski who implemented the nation’s first Veterans Treatment Court in 2008 in Buffalo, New York.  In addition to nearly two decades working in recovery courts, Mr. Pirowski also served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

You can find a short video featuring Ms. Ledbetter and other Recovery Court stories at this link: tn.gov/behavioral-health/tn-recovery-court-profiles