Prairie Center’s Carol Bradford Chosen for Elite Leadership Program

Carol Bradford

Prairie Center Clinical Director

Prairie Center’s Urbana Clinical Director, Carol Bradford, has been selected for participation in the prestigious Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program offered by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Carol has worked for Prairie Center for almost two years. She was chosen for this year’s National Council cohort of 35 out of over 120 applicants nationwide.

Carol oversees all clinical operations and staff for outpatient support services at Prairie Center’s Urbana location, which sees nearly 1,500 clients annually and offers services ranging from DUI assessments to counseling to a Champaign County Drug Court partnership to group therapy and more.


Her participation in the elite 10-month program, which is being underwritten by the National Council for Behavioral Health, will allow her to bring back valuable information, resources, and technical assistance to help Prairie Center better assist underserved populations in the east central Illinois region.

The program helps mid-level managers who work in mental health and addiction service organizations broaden their awareness, knowledge, and skills to help achieve health equity in their service regions and throughout their organizations — both staffing- and client-wise.

The program focuses on leadership development, health equity, and professional development and includes webinars, in-person meetings, coaching calls, peer support interactions, and monthly homework assignments and readings.

I want to work with my team to find new ways to serve the LGBTQ population, create safe spaces, and effectively serve as allies.

Participants are required to each select a special or underserved population to focus on during the program. Carol selected the LGBTQ population because she wants “to work to eliminate any barriers this population faces in accessing our substance abuse treatment and services.”

For Carol’s special project, she plans to network with area agencies and individuals to learn more about what is offered to the LGBTQ population, develop strong partnerships with local entities, and ensure that they are fully aware of the referral process and services that Prairie Center offers to clients. She also plans to develop and provide ongoing training to Prairie Center staff to increase awareness of the issues facing the LGBTQ population.

Prior to her work with Prairie Center, Carol served as Lead Mental Health Authority at Danville Correctional Center. She has worked in the child and mental health sector for over 25 years, including in positions at Cunningham Children’s Home, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, and the Decatur Mental Health Center. She also served as Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois for nearly six years.

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