BELFAST — A Belfast doctor was honored by members of the Maine Sheriff’s Association for his dedication to helping residents of Waldo County who are struggling with addiction and/or mental health issues.
Dr. Timothy Hughes, who is the director at Seaport Community Health Center, was nominated by the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office for the 2018 MSA Outstanding Achievement Award in December and received the award and a recognition plaque at an April 18 ceremony.
According to a nomination letter from Chief Deputy Jason Trundy, the criteria for the award includes the sentence, “someone who has used their talents to assist others and/or demonstrated a steadfast commitment to support the mission of the Office of Sheriff.”
Trundy wrote that “no better phrase could be used to encapsulate Dr. Hughes’s commitment to the recovery community of Waldo County and his tireless effort to support the mission of our Sheriff’s Office displayed over the last year.”
Trundy said he has come to know Dr. Hughes for his active involvement in the Waldo County Recovery Committee, which was formed by six Waldo County organizations as a way to bring community resources together to help those struggling with addiction issues.
The six organizations that formed the Committee include the Restorative Justice Project of the Mid-coast, Volunteers of America, the Greater Bay Area Ministerium, the Department of Corrections, and Seaport Community Health Center.
The Recovery Committee “is committed to leveraging local resources to address issues surrounding mental illness and substance abuse in our community,” according to Trundy’s nomination, which singles Hughes out as “one of the driving forces behind the creation of the committee, and he remains resolute in his commitment to the underserved.”
Since its June 2018 inception, the Recovery Committee has expanded to include a number of services in the area. Some of these services include weekly meetings at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, a weekly meeting of a mental health collaborative, and sporadic meetings to address other issues such as diversion programs and homelessness.
“It is not an uncommon sight to see Dr. Hughes riding his bicycle to attend one of our many meetings. He often has come from his medical practice to attend and must rush off after the meeting to return to attend to his patients,” according to the nomination letter.
Trundy wrote that when “one gives thought to the amount of time and dedication that is required to meet the demands of managing a medical practice, while attempting to find any time left over to enjoy a little family time, you begin to understand just how dedicated Dr. Hughes is to positively impacting the lives of those in his community.
“Not only does Dr. Hughes contribute to all of the endeavors I have listed above but he is also one of the founding members of a community-based citizen group called Community Addiction and Mental Health Solutions (CAMS). CAMS has been extremely active in the community, working with local politicians on legislation, conducting candidate forums and engaging with numerous community partners to effect positive change.”
Trundy ended his nomination letter by saying “Dr. Hughes has attended conferences on addiction, conducted his own research on recovery models throughout the country, and remained steadfast in learning about the many facets of the criminal justice system. I have found Dr. Hughes commitment to helping the Sheriff’s Office succeed in our mission of public safety and support to the recovery community to be indispensable. In the short time that I have known him I have come to respect and admire his genuine and caring personality. I count myself blessed to call him a community partner and a friend.”
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org