Cox named Prevention Specialist of Year

10/26/2018 12:15 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
From left to right are Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health employee Coleman Cox and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden as Baker and Crittenden present Cox with the Prevention Specialist of the Year award. The award recognizes the top prevention specialists in the state for their dedication and contributions to their field. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – The Oklahoma Drug and Alcohol Professional Counseling Association recently recognized Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health employee Coleman Cox as Prevention Specialist of the Year.

The Kelvin Hobbs Prevention Specialist of the Year Award, named in honor of a well-known certified prevention specialist, recognizes the top prevention specialists in the state for their dedication and contributions to their field.

“To win this award shows me and the world that good guys can still win. I am often in a place and time where I hear about people who seem to catch all the breaks, as if some force is daring me to compare myself to others,” Cox said. “I cannot do that, for each of us has a path to walk, and I am blessed that God chose me to follow this path, and I serve Him through serving others.”

Cox, 33, of Tahlequah, is a graduate of Northeastern State University and said he plans to pursue a master’s in prevention from the University of Oklahoma. Cox has worked in CN Behavioral Health since 2010.

“Coleman is a passionate and creative thinker that has been such an asset to behavioral health and to the Cherokee Nation,” Behavioral Health Prevention Program Supervisor Sam Bradshaw said. “In prevention, we have to build through collaborative efforts in order to leverage resources and create the most change. His intuition and creativity have helped us develop stronger relationships in our communities and better partnerships at both state and federal levels.”

Cox is active in tribal and statewide prevention programs and has worked in various groups, including serving as the regional prevention coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, a member of the Public Health Academy of Oklahoma Advisory Council, a member of the Executive Board of the Oklahoma Prevention Policy Alliance and grants project officer for the Community Action Network.

“It’s my job to transfer my knowledge, skills and compassion to others so they can help broker change,” Cox said. “It’s important for me to continue working to end the stigma of addiction and elevating the voice of prevention, because if more people like me are willing to do it, then the problems we face will continue to decrease.”

Earlier in his career, Cox worked to found the first-ever state and tribal Epidemiology Outcomes Workgroup, where he currently serves as committee chair for the quality improvement team. In 2018, his leadership was integral to the launch of “Think SMART Oklahoma,” the Community Action Network’s response to the rising opioid epidemic. Since its start, the campaign has reached nearly 2 million computer and television screens with prevention messages, urging Oklahomans to think about storing, disposing and taking prescription opioids for pain.

For more information about CN Behavioral Health’s services, including mental health and substance abuse services, community prevention and research and evaluation, call 918-207-4977.


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