About Us

Our mission is to engage, restore, and empower individuals in our community to reach their fullest potential.

The vision of Peace River Center is to be a center of excellence for building emotional wellness.


Integrity  Can be trusted by other team members to consistently communicate truthfully and honestly and to act in accordance with the best interests of the persons served, the team, and Peace River Center.


Accountability  Can be depended upon to accept responsibility for actions and decisions and to follow through.  Readily admits mistakes and initiates steps to remedy them.


Team Focus  Joins with colleagues to advance the interest of PRC customers, team members, and other stakeholders.  Is a responsible and caring partner and can be counted upon to help.


Respect  Believes in the intrinsic worth of all people and works to create a culture of inclusion built on trust, empathy and the philosophy of Recovery.  Values and treats others with dignity.


Excellence  Maintains an optimistic and proactive attitude to ensure that products and services surpass expectations.  Tries to do his/her best at all times and continually looks for innovative ways to do it even better.

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:

24-hour crisis services

Domestic violence shelters and victim advocacy

Group homes

Inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services

Integrated care combining primary care and behavioral health services

Mobile and in-home services

Rape Recovery & Resource Center

Substance abuse treatment

Our Story

Peace River Center was founded in the late 1940s in response to the community’s concern for the emotional and psychological well-being 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. Our Lakeland Crisis Campus opened in January 2018.


Our Team

Executive Team

Bill Gardam, MBA

President and Chief Executive Officer


Carol Gilmore, PHR

Director of Human Resources


Candace Barnes, LMHC CBHCMS-AC

Chief Operating Officer


Ileana Kniss

Director of Development and Community Relations


David J. Tournade, CPA

Vice President and 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

Vice Chair

Deborah Petrovich Weber, CPA


Paul Baggett, M.P.A., MSHRM, CPM


David S. Bergdoll, Esquire

Robert S. Bodolay, RHU

Cheryl R. Dee, Ph.D.

Ian Floyd

Clarence B. Grier, Sr., MA

Michael A. Micallef, Jr., MA, MBA

Stanley B. Reed, MAI

Lori Walsh

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

Jillian Schiller


Mark Motsch

Vice Chair

Ariel Vugman


Nathan Calzat

Education Subcommittee Chair

Adeline Vilberg

Recruitment Subcommittee Chair

Natalie Volpe

Special Projects Subcommittee Chair

Grayson Aceto

Yasmine Alamm

Jack Aranda

Nicole Chambless

Ben Chase

Adrianna Claypool

Isabella Crowell

Cecelia de Zayas

Matthew Echenique

Anna Esterline

Jay Frontanes

Taylor Haggins

Taylor Henley

Trent Henley

Landon Hopper

Logan Hopper

Chloe Lausell

Elizabeth Lovely

Francheska Martinez

Sebastian Martinez

Steven Martinez

Olivia Maskas

Mary McMann

Monica Moskal

Madeline Murphy

Haley Rizzo

Ben Schiller

Erin Simon

Gianna Soto

Zoe Steelman

Camryn Sunailitus

Dezerae Teets

Anna Terlep

Carina Torre

Demi Uiterwyk

Matthew Werd

Claire Whitney

More Information

Our Services

Contact Us

Insurances Accepted

PRC will never deny services to anyone based on their inability to pay. PRC will provide discounts to patients based on family size and income.