Akron, Ohio December 1, 2016 --- Akron Municipal Court Judge Annalisa Stubbs Williams was recently recognized and awarded the Drs. Fred and Penny Frese Education Trailblazer Award by the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental health Services (ADM) Board during the 2016 Appreciation Luncheon. As the Frese Award recipient, Judge Williams was recognized for making a significant positive impact in educating others to decrease the stigma that affects those with mental illness and/or addiction. Judge Williams stated:
I want to thank the members of the ADM Board for this tremendous honor. I am indeed very humbled. I have so much respect and admiration for Dr. Fred Frese and his wife, Dr. Penny Frese and all that they do across the country including tearing down barriers and attempting to eradicate the stigma associated with people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness.
The celebration was held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. Other 2016 award winners included: Maggie Carroll Smith Award — Testa Company for their advocacy and work in developing recovery housing; Sr. Ignatia Trailblazer Award — Dr. Nicole Labor for her compassionate and kind efforts for people struggling with addiction; Dr. Bob Smith Trailblazer Award — Reba McCray for her creativity and innovation.
Judge Williams serves as Presiding Judge for the Specialized Docket - Akron Mental Health Court which was the first such court in Ohio and fifth nationally. The Mental Health Court began operating in 2001 under the direction of Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer. Judge Williams has presided over the Mental Health Court since 2005. During Judge Williams' leadership the program was selected as 1 of 5 Learning Site Models by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and Council of State Governments. In 2014, the Mental Health Court received a three year certification by The Ohio Supreme Court to operate as a problem- solving court. In 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court appointed Judge Williams as a member of the Commission on Specialized Dockets to oversee certification of other problem-solving courts. Judge Williams has also expanded the Mental Health Court to include individuals found eligible for the Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) program. FACT s a collaboration between Community Support Services and the Akron Municipal Court funded by the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board (ADM) and is geared toward individuals who suffer with psychosis and have extensive criminal histories.The Akron Municipal Court serves the cities of Akron and Fairlawn; the townships (?113ath, Richfield and Springfield: the Villages of Lakemore and Richfield; and that part of. Mogadore in Summit County, Ohio. For more information about Akron Municipal Court services and programs, please visit http://courts.akronohio.gov/