As Deputy Director of the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership, Tenesha Barnes focuses on policy development and strategic planning to ensure effective service delivery and outcomes for the new initiative. She provides leadership in developing and implementing comprehensive prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies for substance use disorders at the city, county, and community levels.
Throughout her career, Barnes has worn many hats and has served as the National Association of Substance Abuse Directors (NASADAD) and National Prevention Network (NPN) representative for Arkansas, as well as the First Vice President for Internal Affairs, NPN Secretary, and executive board member. She was also Director of Prevention for the Arkansas Department of Human Services/Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS). In this position, she managed and oversaw all prevention activities, including the Substance Abuse Block Grant. She also served as the organizational liaison for the state’s counties, community prevention boards, non-profit organizations, community coalitions, schools, and free-standing entities. She directly coordinated prevention activities through the State Opioid Responses Grant, Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO), First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Grants (FR-CARA), and the Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnerships for Success Grants (PFS).
Contributing seven years of experience as a community prevention champion and state prevention director, Barnes’s tenure helped address health disparities and create structural shifts within the prevention infrastructure for the state’s Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Division. She also helped establish the CADCA membership for DAABHS/DHS in the state of Arkansas and is currently an active member.
Barnes holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Henderson State University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development and Leadership from Webster University.