Post Eagle Newspaper


Dec 8, 2023

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

Time Now


Hamtramck Drug Free Community
Coalition Named Michigan
Prevention Agency of the Year

MICHIGAN – On November 10, 2016, Ms. Virginia Skrzyniarz, Executive Director of the Piast Institute and Ms. Geneva Rivera, Director of the Hamtramck Drug Free Community Coalition (HDFCC) proudly received the Prevention Organization of the Year award on behalf of the HDFCC  from the Michigan Prevention Association of Michigan at the Annual Burning Issues Conference in Lansing. HDFCC was chosen for the Award as the best Drug Prevention Program in the state.

The award was presented by Ms. Karra Thomas of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) under whose aegis the HDFCC operates. HDFCC, created by the Piast Institute in 2007 to fight substance abuse by the youth of Hamtramck, is a coalition of representatives of the community, parents, religious institutions, city and school officials, health professionals and the police and fire departments established to find innovative ways to present prevention programs in a unique multi-cultural community. Its work has been recognized and honored locally, regionally, and nationally for its effective and imaginative programs.

The Prevention Organization of the Year award for 2016 is a welcome confirmation of the success of HDFCC’s hard work and commitment of almost a decade to the City of Hamtramck and its people.  In 2015, the HDFCC was a recipient of the prestigious Federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is the only coalition in Wayne County to be a DFC Awardee.  The DFC award was a significant milestone in the development of the Coalition and a national recognition of the how well the HDFCC has served its community.

Geneva Rivera, Director of HDFCC, said, “We are honored and elated to be this year’s recipient of the  Prevention Organization of the Year Award. It is a welcome confirmation of the hard work, dedication and commitment that the staff and community volunteers have given for almost a decade to the people of Hamtramck, especially its youth. We also would not have been able to achieve the consistently high quality programming and extensive outreach that marked our effort without the amazing support and guidance of the DWMHA and its staff. It is a great to be part of such an agency”.

As for the future, Ms. Rivera hopes that the Prevention Organization of the Year award  will stimulate the HDFCC to set and achieve even higher goals of service. She also indicated that the Piast Institute and the HDFCC will seek to share its decade of experience and its successes with other coalitions to help them improve their own service to their neighborhoods.

For more information, contact Ms. Virginia Skrzyniarz at or 313-733-4535.

Geneva Rivera, Director of HDFCC,
Karra Thomas, DWMHA
and Virginia Skrzyniarz, E.V.P. of the Piast Institute