This month, MDC is celebrating its 34th anniversary in the Knoxville community. In 1986, Scott Dean, a prominent businessman whose family was touched by substance abuse, founded Metropolitan Drug Commission. The organization was co-sponsored by city and county government and the Chamber of Commerce. Since our charter, MDC has accomplished so much around substance use issues in not only our community, but across the state.

In our 34th year, we have stepped outside of the realm of only prevention work, as we recognize that all parts of the continuum of care need to be addressed. We will be starting the renovations, as funding is secured, for The Gateway community center, in hopes to open our doors by late 2020. The center will enhance the connection between existing treatment resources and recovery support services, while providing a centralized location to coordinate access to services based on an individuals’ specific needs.

Although MDC will be establishing The Gateway initiative, our focus will remain on primary prevention. Over the years we have cultivated amazing relationships with our community partners to be able to offer prevention education. Our staff continues to grow, and we hope to expand even further so we can offer more services to Knoxville.

It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this organization for the past 10 years. The growth and expansion in our understanding of how to more intentionally build resilience not only in individuals, but in our community has been exponential. We look forward to continuing to build on our rich history and deepening of our partnerships as we strengthen families and protect lives in the greater Knoxville community. We are honored to be able to serve our community and to work with so many committed leaders and volunteers.

On behalf of MDC Board of Directors and staff, we thank you for your continued partnership over the past 34 years.

-Karen Pershing