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Posted on: August 18, 2023

New Hanover County resiliency work highlighted in national publication

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The work being done by the New Hanover County Resiliency Task Force has been highlighted in a national publication.

“Building Resilience to Trauma: The Trauma Community Resiliency” by Elaine Miller-Karas looks at initiatives across the country to address trauma and build a mindset of community resiliency. As part of her research for the book, Miller-Karas acknowledged the county’s Resiliency Task Force and its work to better equip the community to handle difficulties.

“When the Task Force was established in 2018, members were focused on preventing and responding to adverse childhood experiences. Very quickly, they had to refocus on responding to the impacts of Hurricane Florence. Then, before the community could fully recover from that, they had to expand their focus to a worldwide pandemic that would change everyone’s lives,” said Resiliency Task Force Director Tina Pearson. “All along, the goal was and continues to be to prevent and respond to adverse experiences by educating our community on how to be trauma-informed and utilize skills that enhance resiliency. We’re so grateful that this work has been put in the spotlight on a national level.”

Highlighted as a community example in the book, the Resiliency Task Force is a non-profit coalition with a combined 55 public and private partners from across the county, including New Hanover County government. The task force has trained more than 6,000 individuals in the Community Resilience Model.

The book also spotlights programming designed by Senior Human Resources Analyst Bo Dean, a Task Force Co-Chair, to prepare county employees to manage trauma and stress in their personal and professional lives. The county’s program was honored in 2021 by the National Association of Counties (NACo) as an Achievement Award recipient. That same year, New Hanover County was honored by the Trauma Resource Institute as the Organizational Ambassador of the Year in recognition of the work done by Dean, Mebane Boyd, Amy Reed and J’vanete Becton Skiba to institute this impactful training.  

“Being resilient isn’t just a buzzword for our amazing team here at New Hanover County. It is truly a mantra we embrace and work diligently to be educated in,” Dean said. “I’m so appreciative that our work is being recognized, but even more grateful for all the people who have chosen to learn about resiliency and worked to make it a part of their routine.”


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