Tri-County Mental Health Services offering behavioral health services for the Kansas City Northland community. Prevention, assessment and treatment services for individuals and families throughout Clay, Platte and Ray counties of Missouri.

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Honorees gathered with Northland Coalition were (from left) Outstanding Partner(s) in Prevention Healthy K.C.-Tobacco Action Team led by Scott Hall of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Jessica Hembree of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Outstanding Community Contributor Mike Parsons of DASH Media, Hall of Fame Prevention Volunteer Sgt. Steve Taylor, and Friend of Prevention Eric Zahnd, Platte County Prosecutor.

Outstanding Contributors to Prevention Honored at Conference

The Northland Coalition has honored several partners and donors who have made outstanding contributions to prevention work.

The 2017 awards were presented at the Feb. 3 “Road to Resilience” Prevention Conference hosted by the coalition with support from Tri-County Mental Health Services at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty.

2017 Northland Coalition’s Prevention Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductee:

Sgt. Steve Taylor of the Clay County Sheriff’s Dept. was inducted into the Prevention Volunteer Hall of Fame.

Taylor began his law enforcement career with the Excelsior Springs Police Dept. in 1991. In 1999 he became the School Resource Deputy for Eastgate Middle School and began serving as a liaison between the Northland Coalition and school law enforcement. He has remained dedicated to the coalition’s work following his promotion to Sgt. in the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, and continues to offer his prevention skills as a leader of the School Resource Deputies for the North Kansas City School District.

In 2009 Taylor founded the Northland Safe Schools Task Force.   The task force, which is composed of school and youth- focused law enforcement officers and community based service providers, is dedicated to keeping young people safe and substance free.

In 2012, Taylor helped lead in the establishment of the life-saving Northland Text-a-Tip program. As a direct result of Taylor’s efforts, the program has grown into the largest school based crime prevention tip program in the country.

Marlo Howard, the 2016 Prevention Hall of Fame inductee, presented the award to Taylor.

2017 Friend of Prevention Award:

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd is the recipient of the 2017 Friend of Prevention Award.  Since his election in 2002, he has been a dedicated member of the Northland Coalition. In 2009 Zahnd reaffirmed his commitment to prevention by using all his resources to prosecute two women who had hosted an underage drinking party for their children, applying the more stringent felony child endangerment law rather than the misdemeanor social host law to the case. 

Zahnd also works diligently each year during the coalition’s Safe Prom and Graduation campaign to urge parents not to provide alcohol to minors. To further communicate the prevention message, Zahnd spoke at two press conferences in April 2016 that focused on the negative impacts of drinking and marijuana on youth. 

He is also an active leader of the Keeping Missouri Kids Safe Coalition, which was instrumental in keeping legal marijuana out of the state in the past election.

2017 Outstanding Community Contributor Award:

Mike Parsons of Dash Media received the 2017 Outstanding Community Contributor Award.

In presenting the award, Laura Bruce, TCMHS prevention program development specialist, touted Parsons as a valued resource for the coalition in terms of finding the most cost efficient and effective media to communicate the prevention message, as well as his expertise in finding media partners to match the coalition’s media investments, an important element in meeting the requirements of grant funding.

2017 Outstanding Partner in Prevention Award:

Two leaders of the Healthy K.C. –Tobacco Action Team were each honored with the Outstanding Partner in Prevention Award. Scott Hall with the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Jessica Hembree of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City assumed active leadership of the Healthy K.C. action teams in 2014.

The focus of the teams was to raise the age of purchase for tobacco products from 18 to 21. 

The campaign “Tobacco 21” was launched in October 2015. Since then, the Northland Coalition, Tri-County Mental Health Services and the young advocates of Youth With Vision have joined the Tobacco 21 efforts.

The dedication of the two leaders and their team members resulted in the passage of Tobacco 21 ordinances in 22 municipalities in the Greater Kansas City area, including Kansas City, North, Gladstone and Liberty.

The Northland Coalition is composed of volunteer advocates from Clay, Platte and Ray counties. They represent the fields of education and law enforcement, as well as legal and social service agencies, the faith-based community, and the community at large.  With the support of Tri-County Mental Health Services, the coalition is dedicated to keeping youth and their communities healthy and substance abuse free.

For more information about the coalition visit

24-Hour Emergency Crisis Line 1-888-279-8188 (TTY or Voice: 1-800-380-3323)

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