Contact: Trina Lambert
HCS Communications Manager
610 Campus Drive • Abingdon, VA 24210
276.619.5315 •


ABINGDON, VA (October 19, 2020): On Thursday, October 15, Highlands Community Services (HCS) hosted an award ceremony to honor the outstanding accomplishments of four individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty and exemplified extraordinary efforts to partner with each other in the community and ultimately save a life.

The Delta Award was spawned from their achievements and quickly launched to acknowledge individuals, such as these, within our HCS community who are serving as agents and catalysts of change. Eligibility is open to employees, partners and community members at large. The areas of recognition include consumer services, community services, policy and advocacy, systemic improvements and partnership development.

The first four recipients of this award are Asmahan Elayan (Program Manager, HCS Emergency Services), Byron Ashbrook (CIT Coordinator, HCS Crisis Intervention Team), Brandon Tweed (Detective, Washington County Sheriff’s Office) and Chris Jennings (Interim Lieutenant, Abingdon Police Department).

“These four have been given this award for extraordinary action in a multi-systemic response to a community crisis event,” said Rebecca Holmes, HCS Executive Director.

The event itself, is one that not only literally saved a life, but demonstrated how first responders came together in all facets of the community — specifically mental health and law enforcement — and teamed up under dire circumstances to mitigate a crisis situation where the outcome could have been tragic.

At the board meeting Thursday evening, Emily Lee (HCS Board Chair), spoke on behalf of the event honoring the recipients by stating that “every time you think about what’s your why, what’s your purpose, that’s it.”

To learn more and watch recipient interviews, WCYB will be airing their heroic story as part of their “Behind the Badge” segment starting Monday, October 19 at 10 p.m. on Fox and Tuesday, October 20 at 6 p.m. on NBC.

Highlands Community Services is a multi-faceted Virginia Community Service Board providing mental health, substance use and developmental services to the residents of Washington County and the City of Bristol, Virginia. Serving thousands of individuals each year, their goal is to provide a full continuum of care and to increase access to innovative mental health services by “improving lives and discovering possibilities.” To learn more, please call 276.525.1550 or visit


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Highlands Community Services

improving lives,
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