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National Council announces 2011 Awards of Excellence

May 3, 2011
by Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief
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Many of the nation’s best and brightest in mental health and addictions services were honored with National Council Awards of Excellence at the 41st National Council Mental Health and Addictions Conference in San Diego on Tuesday evening.

“These awards recognize people and programs for being the change — for promoting recovery and having a lasting impact on children, adults, and families,” said Linda Rosenberg, the National Council’s president and CEO. “The awardees have all made a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Awards of Excellence Honorees

Rep. David Obey (D-WI, retired) is the recipient of the Excellence in Public Service award for being a consistent, long-time champion of America’s mental health and addiction treatment programs. Rep. Obey fought for the most vulnerable members of our communities by initiating the children’s Systems of Care program and providing start-up funding for the Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration program to benefit low-income persons with severe mental illnesses.

The Mental Health Center of Denver in Denver, CO is the recipient of the Excellence in Service Innovation award for its Integrating Care Through Court to Community Program. The innovative program diverts persons with serious and chronic mental illness and substance abuse from jail and offers psychiatric and primary care as well as community supports. The program helps save $2.50 for every dollar spent on treatment.

Crossroads Behavioral Healthcare in Elkin, NC is the recipient of the Excellence in Health Information Technology award for helping youth in the juvenile justice system dealing with co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders realize their potential. Healthcare providers work with the families of youth and community partners to offer evidence-based treatment. In the past four years, JJTC has served more than 1,600 young people with an overall 85 percent success rate.

Burrell Behavioral Health in Springfield, MO is recipient of the Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management for its Evidence-Informed Risk Management Program, which helps clients, staff, and management function at their best. Burrell invests in data collection and analysis to monitor risk-related events from across the organization. Burrell’s critical incident reporting system is the “lifeblood” of its risk management efforts.

Sherri Rushman, Consumer Education Specialist at Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority in Auburn Hills, MI is the recipient of the Excellence in Consumer Advocacy award for her signature presentation based on her life experiences: “Hope Givers, Hope Receivers, and Hope Stealers.” After an inpatient hospitalization, Sherri was referred to the public mental health system in Oakland County, where she built relationships and received services for fourteen years. Today she is a consumer education specialist who shares her story and experiences to help others in their own journey towards recovery.

Christina Hendrix, Regional Family Leadership Program Coordinator at WellSpring Resources in Alton, IL is recipient of the Excellence in Family Advocacy award for being a passionate advocate for children and families experiencing emotional disturbances and helping them improve their lives. Christina is one of three people in Illinois chosen to develop regional family leadership and support programs.



Dennis Grantham

Dennis Grantham


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