The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has awarded the Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Care to Greg Puckett, Mercer County Commissioner and Executive Director of Community Connections, Inc (CCI). According to NRHA, award recipients must demonstrate “a lasting contribution to rural health care” and Greg Puckett has spent more than 20 years leading and advocating for mental health issues. CCI serves as the Family Resource Network for Mercer County and has been the lead organization in efforts across Southeast West Virginia to combat opioid addiction. One of CCI’s successful programs is ‘Prevention without Borders.’

When recommending Greg for this award, Jennifer Farmer of Virginia Tech shared that “He is also involved with a number of state and national committees dedicated to addiction and mental health issues. He dedicates his personal time to mentor young people by coaching high school swimming, producing community-based murals and environmental impact projects, and is an advocate for change.”

Sue Thau, Public Policy Consultant for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American, said that Greg ‘takes his passion and purpose and turns it into power…to better his community and state.’ Senator Shelley Moore Capito and other state leaders congratulated him for this award and said it was well-deserved.

When congratulated by WVRHA, Greg said “This is an amazing honor.  Although I’m honored to represent us locally and statewide, I think it’s a testament to the amazing partnerships and people that I work with on a regular basis.  I just hope that this helps show that we are working together to make change happen in our communities.”