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Dr. George Perkins Receives the Margaret A. Fuad Award

Presbyterians for Addiction Action (PAA)

The Margaret A. Fuad Award honors a lay person who, as a volunteer or activist, is instrumental in getting his or her church and community involved in issues related to drug and alcohol abuse through education, awareness or treatment.

George Perkins became involved with alcohol abuse and chemical dependency as an outgrowth of his work with a host of health and wellness issues. This work began in 1972, and matured until the founding of the Wellness Institute, which has since evolved into Partners for a Healthy Louisville.

By the mid 1990’s, the Wellness Institute began to focus on alcohol and other drug abuse and its effects on families, companies, and organizations. George oversaw the development of two 15 minute motivational videotapes: “Intervention: How True Friends Can Help,” designed for adults, and “True Friends,” produced with adolescents in mind. These videotapes depict the tremendous economic and emotional costs of alcohol and other drug abuse, promote the effectiveness of the intervention process, and provide information on contacting a trained interventionist.

The success of these tapes – or better – George Perkins’ presentation of them to various groups in the area – led to the incorporation of the Intervention Resource Center in 1997. Dr. Perkins served as the first Executive Director of the Center until the board could hire Hugh Spaulding to direct the organization on a full-time basis. George remains on the Board of Directors.

The mission of the Intervention Resource Center is “to provide referral services, awareness programs, and research which motivate substance abusers and their families to accept help and get on the pathway to recovery for the betterment of themselves, their employers, and their communities.” The motto of the Intervention Resource Center is “We Save Lives.” George Perkins has been at the center of this life-saving work, not only for persons living with an addiction, but for their families, co-workers, and others who might be harmed by their addiction.

George Perkins came to the vocation of wellness and intervention through his years working on behalf of children at risk. For four years he was Kentucky Commissioner of the Child Welfare Department (1968-71). Dr. Perkins converted the delinquency program from a very large institution to multiple, modest sized campuses with the program attaining the rank of #2 in the United States.

Prior to that, he was Executive Director of Bellewood Presbyterian Home for Children (1958-68), doubling the number of children under care during his tenure. He hired the first professional staff of the Presbyterian Home, and added foster and adoptive home care to the institutionally based program. While serving in this position, he earned his M.S.S.W. from the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville (1964).

His Masters Degree in Social Work compliments (some might say contrasts with) his doctorate in Metallurgical Engineering (Purdue University, 1940). Dr Perkins came to Louisville in 1944 to work for Reynolds Metal Company, holding a variety of positions at that firm from sales to Director of Product Development.

George Perkins also established a for-profit company to design and implement Employee Assistance Programs, contracting with major employers in the Louisville area. Before selling the company in 1986, he received an award for his pioneering work in Employee Assistance from former Kentucky governor, Martha Layne Collins.

Dr. Perkins has taught at the University of Louisville as well as at the Jefferson Community College of the University of Kentucky. He has done training for social workers, psychologists, and other health care professionals in the area of occupational programs and intervention services in various settings.

George Perkins is a loyal and faithful Presbyterian, serving in congregational, presbytery and synod levels of the church, an active member of many community-based groups and a tireless innovator in the field of addiction. Presbyterians for Addiction Action are pleased to present this award to Dr. Perkins. The award will be presented to George at the summer meeting of the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery.

Ralph, maybe a box:

One morning at his office at Reynolds Aluminum, George made a life-changing decision – something or someone stirred him to ask, “Even if I could re-cast the world in aluminum, what difference would that make in people’s lives?” From that day, he entered the world of social and personal and, yes, spiritual service.