HC DrugFree provides resources and education on prevention, treatment, recovery, health and wellness to help Howard County residents develop knowledge and skills to understand and address behavioral health disorders.
How did HC DrugFree get its start and its name? In 1995, staff at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Maryland organized to respond to the alarming number of teens using illegal substances such as tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Staff were also concerned about the increase in drug-related problems in schools (truancy, violence, weapons, gangs) and in the community. As this initiative expanded from Oakland Mills High School to additional schools across Howard County, it became known as the Eastern Coalition Against Substance Abuse. As the coalition grew and became more demanding of school staff time and resources, a nonprofit was formed and named HC DrugFree.
HC DrugFree, Inc. was incorporated in March of 2004 and was awarded 501(c)(3) non profit status by the IRS in October 2004.
HC DrugFree continues to work closely with the Howard County Public School System, the PTA Council of Howard County, the numerous Parent Teacher Student Associations, and other community, state and national partners.
Meet Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree's Executive Director
Joan Webb Scornaienchi has served as HC DrugFree's executive director since August 2009. With more than 25 years in education, her background includes extensive experience in higher education and then as a grants and education program specialist with the Maryland Department of Education. In 2012, Ms. Scornaienchi became a certified grants management specialist. Having also served as a drug and alcohol prevention specialist for a county-funded hospital program, she brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the executive position. She holds a BS in business administration and a MA in student personnel services as well as completed all but the dissertation for a doctorate in education administration.
Ms. Scornaienchi has been elected to a 7th consecutive term as the chair of the Howard County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Board. As the former coordinator of the Howard County Opioid Misuse Prevention Program on behalf of the Howard County Health Department, she is the founding coordinator of the Howard County Opioid Coalition and founding co-coordinator of the County's Overdose Fatality Review Team. She continues to serve on numerous committees and workgroups at the Howard County Health Department including the Local Health Improvement Coalition as well as remains the Howard County substance misuse prevention coordinator.
Ms. Scornaienchi is in her fifth year as vice chair of the Howard County Public School's Health Council and serves on the school's Mental Health Task Force. Currently, she is participating in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizens Academy.
In October 2017, Ms. Scornaienchi received a Leadership Maryland Gold Award presented in conjunction with the Leadership Maryland 25th anniversary celebration. Gold award recipients were recognized for their leadership experience, strength and dedication to building a better Maryland. Ms. Scornaienchi is a graduate of Leadership Maryland (Class of 2015) and Leadership Howard County (Class of 2011) and resides in Columbia with her husband.
In November, 2017, she will be inducted into The Daily Record's Circle of Leadership for being named one of Maryland's Most Admired CEOs for the 3rd time. The Daily Record also honored Ms. Scornaienchi in 2015 and 2012 as one of Maryland's Most Admired CEOs. The award winners were selected based on their demonstration of strong leadership, integrity, values, vision, commitment to excellence, financial performance, mentoring, and ongoing commitment to their communities and diversity.
Ms. Scornaienchi served as 2016-17 chair of the Howard County Commission for Women after serving as vice chair and recording secretary and remains on numerous advisory boards and committees throughout the County.
In August 2017, The Daily Record featured Ms. Scornaienchi in their Path to Excellence Magazine. In February 2017, Howard Magazine and the Baltimore Sun Media Group highlighted Ms. Scornaienchi as one of seven Howard County women making a difference.
In April 2017, Ms. Scornaienchi was renamed one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for the 3rd and final selection. At that time, she was inducted into the Circle of Excellence for sustained achievement, outstanding community service and a continued commitment to mentoring. She was previously named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women in 2014 and 2012. In April, Ms. Scornaienchi also received the 2017 Jack Epstein Award from the Maryland Multicultural Coalition, the state chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education, for exemplary contributions and commitment to multicultural education in Maryland.
As a Friends of Education award nominee, the Howard County Public School System presented Ms. Scornaienchi with a Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding contributions to the school system in April 2017, and the Howard County Police Department presented Ms. Scornaienchi with a Certificate of Appreciation in March 2017 for her dedication and participation with HC DrugFree's annual Senior Week: Staying Safe in Ocean City program.
In October 2016, Ms. Scornaienchi was presented with The Daily Record's 2016 Innovator of the Year award for her vision, leadership and commitment to Howard County's opioid misuse education and developing a campaign in four languages.
In August 2016, Ms. Scornaienchi was honored as a 2016 Journey Honoree and received the Leadership in Youth Engagement Award presented by 7th, 8th and 9th grade girls participating in The Howard County Women's Giving Circle's summer leadership camp. At that time, she was presented with a citation from the Howard County Delegation signed by Senate Chair Guy Guzzone and House Chair Vanessa Atterbeary congratulating her on the award.
In spring 2016, she was recognized by Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Elijah Cummings for her work on behalf of Howard County youth and families.
In 2015, the Howard County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission selected Ms. Scornaienchi as the Individual Honoree for the Living the Dream Award for her many personal and professional contributions to the community.
Also in 2015, Soroptimist International of Howard County awarded her with the Ruby Award for Women Helping Women. In 2014, The National Grants Management Association awarded her the Impact Award in the Private Sector.
In 2012, she received the Howard County Office of Children’s Services’ Celebrating Successes for Children Award in the High School Category for her work on behalf of high school students.
Ms. Scornaienchi and her husband, John, reside in Columbia.
We Need Your Support
HC DrugFree depends on your generosity to ensure that the programs and support we provide to the Howard County community will continue for many years. Your donation will help raise awareness of youth alcohol and drug use and abuse, and promote positive youth development in the community. Learn more about becoming a friend or sponsor of HC DrugFree.
HC DrugFree's Discrimination Policy
Since 2004, HC DrugFree has served the public as a nonprofit organization. HC DrugFree does not discriminate based on race, creed, religion, handicap, color, sex, national origin, age, occupation, marital status, political opinion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, personal appearance, familial status, source of income. Nondiscrimination has been the policy of HC DrugFree since its founding. Revised October 17, 2011
HC DrugFree Awarded Contract to Provide Substance Abuse Prevention Services
In December 2011, HC DrugFree was awarded a contract to provide substance abuse prevention services on behalf of the Howard County Health Department’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. By way of this contract, Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director of HC DrugFree will serve as Howard County’s Prevention Coordinator and Maryland Strategic Prevention Framework (MSPF) Coordinator.
Click here to read the entire Business Monthly article.