About Us

About Us


Peace River Center is an agency striving to impact the lives of our clients and the community we serve by engaging, restoring, and empowering individuals to reach their fullest potential by offering a broad range of mental health and substance use disorder services throughout Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties.

Peace River Center helps over


individuals each year.

With 27 locations, 30 programs and accreditation from The Joint Commission and licensed by ACHA and DCF, Peace River Center is one of the largest behavioral health agencies in Florida.

We offer an array of services with 30 programs, which include:

Inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services

24-hour crisis services

Rape Recovery & Resource Center

Domestic violence shelters and victim advocacy

Substance abuse treatment

Mobile and in-home services

Group homes

Integrated care combining primary care and behavioral health services

Our Story

Peace River Center was founded in the late 1940s in response to the community’s concern for the emotional and psychological wellbeing of children. Over time, Peace River Center gradually expanded their services to include adults. A significant growth period for the Center came after the 1973 passing of the Baker Act, which is Florida’s Mental Health Act, enabling them to establish a community mental health center as an alternative to treatment at the State Hospital. In the late 1970s Peace River Center opened the first of two domestic violence shelters, and in 2013 we added a primary care Wellness Clinic. We will also be opening our new Crisis Campus in Lakeland, Florida in the Summer of 2017.


Our Team

Executive Team

Bill Gardam

Chief Executive Officer


Carol Gilmore

Director of Human Resources


Bennie Allred

Chief Operating Officer


Ileana Kniss

Director of Development & Community Relations


David J. Tournade

Chief Financial Officer


Advisory Board

The Advisory Board assists PRC with fundraising ideas, planning special events and increasing community awareness about the services we offer to Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. The Advisory Board's main goal is to increase community involvement in the mission and vision of Peace River Center.

Kelly Aiken

Nancy Cattarius

Dave Dalton

Hollis Hooks

Suzette Jones

Molly McHugh

Carol Pickard

Melissa B. Putnam

Sandra G. Sheets

Sheila Smith

Robert H. Tate

Debbie Watkins

Steve Barger

Denise Crenshaw

Katie Daughtrey

Ansley Martin Frese

Maggie Mariucci

Michael J. McLeod, Ed.D.

Donald M. Pickard

Kevin Roberts

David Shepp

Mary Stiles

Renee Tomkow

Sharon Casey

Rooster Curry

Rita Hafferly

Dorothy C. Jenkins

Joy Jackson Martin

Carolyn P. Nance

Abel A. Putnam

Sara Roberts

Ihla Sloman

Bevin Strickland

Kim Vallejo

Board of Directors

Peter Golotko, CPA/PFS, MBA


Al Dorsett

Past Chair

Michael Micallef


Major Paul Baggett


Cheryl R. Dee, Ph.D.

David S. Bergdoll, Esquire

Robert S. Bodolay, RHU

Deborah Petrovich Weber, CPA

Stanley B. Reed

Marcy C. Plankenhorn

Clarence B. Grier, Sr.

Edward G. Weed

Sozon Vatikiotis

Capital Campaign Committee

Denise Crenshaw


Kathy Haley

Hollis Hooks

Barbara Lineberger

Deborah Petrovich Weber

Margaret Parry

Campaign Coordinator

Adriana Hall

Sheriff Grady Judd

Seth McKeel

Edgar G. Weed

Bill Gardam

Cheif Executive Officer

Barbara Hoffman

Mary Kay Langford

Ihla Sloman

Junior Advisory Board

Rachel Jenkins


Franny Ancaya

Will Chase

Samantha Fasshauer

Oakley Holmes

Olivia Larrea

Monica Moskal

Harrison Paul

Mike Vassallo

Jennifer Reece


Jack Aranda

Blythe Dezayas

Christi Fazekas

Emma Hopkins

Connor Lovely

Jacquelyn Moseley

Kristina Ringley

Maddy Werd

Mackenzie Aranda


Grace Campisi

Tommy Esterline

Will Friel

Ben Jenkins

Michelle Moskal

Maddie Oliver

Will Shepp

More Information

Our Services

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