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Pacesetter Awards honor seven top behavioral health employers

May 1, 2011
by Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief
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Awards honor great places to work in behavioral health

Seven behavioral health organizations with outstanding business practices have been selected by the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce and the Hitachi Foundation as the 2011 National Behavioral Health Pacesetter Award Winners and Programs of Merit.

Created under the banner “Better Jobs, Better Services, and Better Business,” the Pacesetter Award recognizes behavioral healthcare treatment and support organizations in the U.S. that utilize best workforce practices, especially for direct-care workers, while also improving outcomes for clients and organizational performance.

“The 2011 Pacesetter Award winners are outstanding examples of how organizations can improve the quality of behavioral health services and responsiveness to the needs of consumer and families by promoting the careers of their front line staff,” stated John Morris, MSW, Executive Director, at the Annapolis Coalition. “We are delighted to be showcasing what these agencies have done, and we hope that other agencies may benefit from these examples.”

“Across all industries, support for direct-care workers is critical to ensure a strong and committed workforce,” said Barbara Dyer, President and CEO of the Hitachi Foundation. “The Pacesetter Award winners demonstrate their understanding of the business case for supporting lower-wage employees, many of whom are unlicensed staff who hold a bachelor’s degree or less, but who provide essential client services on a day-to-day basis.”

The following organizations are 2011 Pacesetter Award honorees. Five organizations were recognizedc as 2011 National Award Winners:

  • Thresholds in Chicago has advanced the careers of front-line mental health staff while implementing Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment (IDDT) through the use of embedded consultants and supportive supervision.
  • Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) in Fall River, Massachusetts, has used work-based learning to elevate the competencies and educational aspirations of its behavioral health staff, and through their example, they are renewing hope in a community hard hit by recession.
  • Family Services of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh has built university, county government and managed care partnerships that have transformed case management and promoted careers of community mental health staff, both in their own agency and throughout Allegheny County.
  • Borinquen Health Care Center in Miami has skillfully prepared its multicultural, front-line substance abuse and community outreach workers to battle the spread of HIV in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
  • Hartford Dispensary in Connecticut has built a professional development program that meets the challenges of direct-care staff as they provide effective treatment for heroin addiction in a northeastern drug traffic corridor.
  • Two programs earned honors as Pacesetter 2011 Programs of Merit:

    Chesapeake Connections at Mosaic Community Services in Baltimore has carefully prepared a diverse staff group to provide assertive yet supportive services to people with severe mental illnesses in the city’s urban core.



Dennis Grantham

Dennis Grantham


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