NECCO recognized by county

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lifeline of Ohio raises flag for organ donation

The Lawrence County Commission named and recognized NECCO as its business of the month for September at its meeting Tuesday.

NECCO opened in Lawrence County 21 years ago, and now has 24 locations in four states. In Lawrence County, NECCO is home to the largest number of employees within the company, with nearly 300. Also, just in the county, NECCO serves more than 800 foster children, more than 600 outpatient clients, 57 residential boys and 27 supported living clients.

Lawrence County Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. said that the company also employs a variety of professionals, including skill builders who directly work with children everyday, case managers, therapists, nurses, administrators, specialists, transporters, dietary cooks, maintenance specialists and others.

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“The estimated economic impact of NECCO in Lawrence County is upward of $30 million per year,” Hayes said. “There are also over 30 NECCO foster homes in Lawrence County, and NECCO provides adoptions, cope and positive outcomes for hundreds of children throughout its programs in this county every single year.”

Greg Thompson, with NECCO, was in attendance at the meeting, and added that NECCO is also involved in every school throughout the county. He said that the company is also always looking for new foster parents, as well as people who are interested in working at NECCO in some way.

Lifeline of Ohio was also at the meeting to raise its Donate Life Flag in honor of two Lawrence County residents who were saved by organ donations.

“We’re here to raise the Donate Life flag in Lawrence County in honor to Lawrence County recipients Debbie (Kouns) and Becky (Sanders),” Jessica Peterson, with Lifeline of Ohio, said. “This is part of our Flags Across Ohio initiative, where we’re going to all 88 counties in Ohio to raise a flag to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and to encourage all Ohioans to get on the donor registry.”

Peterson added that more than 114,000 Americans, including more than 2,900 people just in central Ohio, are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. She also said that she was proud of Lawrence County, which has more than 50 percent of its residents registered as organ donors.

Kouns, a Kitts Hill resident, was diagnosed with lupus in 1995, and said she had ups and downs in and out of the hospital from then until 2006. By 2006, her liver was attacked and she was placed on the organ donation list at the University of Kentucky.

For the next several years, a couple potential livers for her ended up being too big, and one ended up contracting a disease until she finally received a match in 2014 from the Cleveland Clinic. She said that, although she has to take medications to keep it from being rejected by her body, she has been doing well and is very thankful to her organ donor for being able to keep her alive.

Sanders, of Ironton, needed a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with polycystic kidney at 26, and was one of two members of her family to have needed the procedure done.

She received a new kidney, which she had for 15 years before it started causing her problems. She said one of her best friends offered to donate her kidney, but issues towards the end of testing prevented that from happening. She got another phone call within the next few months of a match, which she has had ever since with no issues.

In other action, the commission:

• Approved one new floodplain permit and one floodplain permit renewal.

• Received and filed the Dog Warden Report dated Aug. 18, 2018.

• Received and filed the Wayne National Forest’s 2017 Annual Report.

• Approved eight transfer funds.

• Approved the Advance for account numbers B64-02J-061-99-99 to C10-02J-157-62, $15,000, as requested by Lawrence County chief deputy auditor Chris Kline.

• Proclaimed Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Lawrence County.

• Approved and signed the Improvements to the Lawrence County Airpark ODOT 2019 Tree Clearing Project, as requested by Bill Nenni.

• Approved and signed the specifications and bidding documents for 2018 Improvements to the Lawrence County Airpark , Section “A” Runway Pavement Rehabilitation and Section “B” Airfield Lighting, as requested by Bill Nenni.

• Met in executive session with Bill Click and Chris Kline regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.