Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. (MSBH) hosted the 23rdAnnual Caliber Awards on May 21st as a virtual celebration. This annual event honors the work of local community champions for their contributions to the behavioral health system in the mid-shore region. Approximately eighty local community members attended in this year’s ceremony, which recognized 33 individuals and organizations for their honorable work improving the behavioral health and wellness of the mid-shore community.
Katie Dilley, LCSW-C, Executive Director for MSBH, and Dr. Benjamin Kohl Jr., President of the MSBH Board, opened the ceremony with a heartfelt welcome message and thoughtful acknowledgement of the challenges overcome throughout the pandemic. Dilley introduced keynote speaker Senator Adelaide Eckardt, District 37, who discussed the importance of continued safety, structure, support for those experiencing behavioral health challenges through the pandemic and beyond. Senator Eckardt likened the commendable work of regional providers to a tapestry, observing that the unique contributions of each provider weaves a beautiful and supportive behavioral health network of great benefit to the community. The provider network’s enduring perseverance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the strength and uniqueness of the mid-shore region.
Rachel Stoyanov, CFPS and Early Childhood Engagement Lead with Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF), received the Child and Adolescent Award for her leadership in MCF’s new Early Childhood Engagement program. A group of Wellpath Mental Health Coordinators working in mid-shore County Detention Centers received Forensic Mental Health Awards, presented to Bill Rhodes, LCPC; Angela Ricketts-Murray, LCSW-C; Colleen Kennedy, CAC-AD; Jenna Haines, LMSW, and Stephanie Hewitt, LCSW-C. Cindi Boone, Housing Program Administrator for Queen Anne’s County, and Lynn Keckler, M.Ed., Executive Director at His Hope Ministries received the Roundtable on Homelessness Award for their dedication to ending homelessness in the mid-shore region. A moment of special recognition lead by Brandy James, Affiliated Santé Group, was awarded to the Caroline County Sheriff’s Department for their participation in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), a specialized training which educates officers how to appropriately respond to mental health emergency calls.
The Special Recognition: Education Award was presented to Omeaka Jackson, LCPC-S, Founder and Director of Harvesting Hope Youth & Family Wellness, Inc. Colleen Kennedy, CAC-AD, received a second nomination, Special Recognition: Integration and Trauma Award, for her work with Caroline County Detention Center. The Special Recognition: Leadership Award recognized The Honorable Savannah Winstonwith Preston Town Council. Community volunteer and business owner Linda Austin accepted the Special Recognition: Transitional Aged Youth, Latino Population, Volunteers, Employment & Education Award for her assiduous work improving the lives of many youth in Queen Anne’s County Public Schools.
Caroline County’s Project AWARE program was nominated for the Special Recognition: Education Awards, recognizing the impactful work of Caroline County Public Schools staff: Dr. Derek Simmons, Interim Superintendent; Nicole Fisher, Supervisor of Alternative Programs and Cara Calloway, LCSW-C, School Mental Health Coordinator. Project AWARE is a grant funded initiative that expands mental health and social emotional support for students in Caroline County schools.
There were several awards given in the Special Recognition: Unsung Heroes category, including Shirelle Brookes, Correctional Officer with Queen Anne’s County Detention Center and Beth Brewster, Supervisor of foods with Caroline County Public Schools and Founder of Chesapeake Culinary Center. Other awardees in the Unsung Hero group included Eric Knapp, Property Maintenance Inspector with Denton Planning and Codes; Katie Theeke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with For All Seasons; Operations and Training Director Heather Brown, MS, PsyA, with Eastern Shore Psychological Services and Director of A.F. Whitsitt Center Joe Jones, LCADC, RPS. These nominees have demonstrated laudable work in their respective fields, bringing health and mental wellness support to the mid-shore community.
The Achieving Excellence through Effective Programming Award was presented to Director Tina-Marie Brown, LCSW-C, accepted on behalf of Affiliated Santé’s Child and Adolescent Program. The Achieving Excellence through the Empowerment of Consumers Awards were presented to all five mid-shore School Mental Health Coordinators: Cara Calloway, LCSW-C, in Caroline County; Megan Pinder, LCPC, and Stirling Ward, MS, Queen Anne’s; Kawana Webb, LCSW-C in Dorchester County; Rob Schmidt, Ed.D, in Talbot County, and Vandrick Hamlin, MS, in Kent County.
This year, the Achieving Excellence through Interagency and Community Collaboration Award was presented to the Kent County Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team (START), with special recognition to the implementation team: Cassandra Richardson; Peer Specialist; Carmelyn Bauchman, Department of Social Services caseworker, and supervisors Mattie Meehan, Kami Morris, and Lindy Schrader. START is an evidence-based intervention program providing peer support to families with a substance exposed newborn. Implemented in 12 counties, the program has been exceptionally successful in Kent County and is a positive example for other counties in Maryland.
The Mary Beth Brennaman Award recognizes an outstanding individual who demonstrates an unconditional commitment to, and passion for, the mission and vision of his or her organization. This year’s recipients were Rosalind Hynson and Kathy Langrell. Hynson is the former Administrative Specialist at Mid Shore Behavioral Health, and is remembered fondly for her sincerity, spirit, and kindness. Langrell serves as the Client Services Supervisor with For All Seasons, bringing positivity and a welcoming presence to the workplace.
The Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Dina Gomes Daley and Dale Oberender, recognized posthumously their indefatigable work within the Caroline County community prior to their recent retirements. Daley served as Director of Caroline County Department of Social Services since 2004 and is now Executive Director of Building African American Minds (BAAM), having co-founded the organization with her husband Derick. Oberender is the former Assistant Director of Caroline County Department of Social Services, serving in this role for 17 years. He continues to serve on the Advisory Board for The Board of Child Care in Denton and remains a passionate advocate for the success of individuals with Autism.
Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. would also like to give a special thanks to James Ransome with Denton-based Awards Engraving Company, who crafted the aesthetic engraved plaques presented to all Caliber Award recipients.
As the Core Service Agency for the mid-shore, MSBH’s mission is to continually improve the provision of behavioral health services for residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties through effective coordination of care in collaboration with consumers, their natural support systems, providers, and the community at large. For more pictures from the event, please “like” us on Facebook or to view a recording of the ceremony, visit https://tinyurl.com/MidShoreCaliber2021. For more information about the work of MSBH, visit www.midshorebehavioralhealth.org.