July 14, 2021

2021 State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) Recipients

The Southern Legislative Conference's State Transformation in Action (STAR) recognizes impactful, creative, effective, and transferable state government solutions. Innovative program submissions are accepted from a wide array of state agencies, departments and institutions operating within the executive, legislative and judicial governmental branches.

Congratulations to the 2021 STAR recipients! After an extensive application review and finalist presentations at the SLC 75th Anniversary Annual Meeting, this year's recipients are the Virginia Military Medics and Corpsman (MMAC) program from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia Housing Reform for Inmates with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI) program from the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Virginia Military Medics and Corpsman (MMAC), Virginia Department of Veterans Services

Virginia’s Military Medics and Corpsmen program offers clinical, leadership, and non-clinical career pathways to veterans and military spouses seeking healthcare careers within the commonwealth. When they transition to the civilian workforce, veterans may struggle to translate their military healthcare experience and into civilian healthcare employment. Many are unemployed, underemployed or not working in the healthcare field. The Military Medics and Corpsmen program addresses this challenge by recruiting, reviewing, and referring candidates to healthcare employers statewide. By facilitating hiring MMAC reduces healthcare staffing shortages and supports quality patient care.

Virginia Housing Reform for Inmates with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI), Virginia Department of Corrections

The Virginia Department of Corrections’ Secure Diversionary Treatment Program addresses a critical need to safely manage the increasing population of inmates with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) in the criminal justice system. The program was developed to divert inmates with an SMI who are at risk of engaging in disruptive and serious incidents from a restrictive housing setting into a program where their unique needs are met and supported. By diverting these inmates into a treatment-focused environment, dedicated staff can provide opportunities for participants to manage their mental illness, improve pro-social metrics, and eventually thrive in the general population or in the community upon release.

View all STAR presentations here.