Hamilton Awards Presented Six Awards Presented at Annual Dinner of the Board of Directors
Hamilton Center, Inc. is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's Hamilton Awards. The awards were presented on October 26, 2004 at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors at Hulman Center, Terre Haute, IN. Officers of the Board presented the awards. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was the key note speaker. Dr. Taylor is a scientist, a scholar, an orator, and a truly remarkable educator who has traveled to the heart of darkness through her own neurobiological illness and brought back a message of hope, compassion and insight.
Hamilton Awards, which are selected by the Executive Committee of Hamilton Center’s Board of Directors, are presented annually. Winners have significantly contributed to the cause of mental health and/or the care of people with mental illnesses, addiction problems, or developmental disabilities. Hamilton Awards have been presented annually since 1981 and are named in honor of Katherine Hamilton, a woman who was devoted to the cause of mental health and improving the care of those in need.
Community Award winners:
The first Community Award was presented to Mr. Bernie Burns, Director of the Vigo County Alcohol and Drug Program. Burns has been on the forefront of the movement to help our community recognize that those addicted to drugs and alcohol need treatment. He works to insure that incarceration is the last option, not the first. He is involved in a number of community programs including the Local Coordinating Council for a Drug Free Community, in which he facilitated the development of the program and has served as President, Treasurer, and Executive Committee member and continues to act as liaison with the County Council. In addition, he has served on the United Way Compass II committee, the Suicide Prevention committee, the Office of Family and Children’s Juvenile meth task force, the Jail Treatment Program committee, and the Sheriff’s task force on jail overcrowding.
The second Community Award was presented to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility’s Residential Treatment Unit of Sullivan County. This program was established in 1998 to meet the needs of high-security inmates who have serious and persistent mental illnesses that preclude successful placement in a general prison setting. The program has three goals. The first is to help the offenders achieve a level of stability that would allow them to return to the general prison population. The second is to identify offenders whose placements in segregation has been caused by their behavioral health problem. And lastly, the program facilitates the smooth transition home or to other community settings such as the State Hospital upon release from the prison system.
Volunteer Award winners:
The first Volunteer Award went to The Honorable Blaine Akers, Clay County Superior Court. Judge Akers has implemented many changes in the judicial system to try and combat the use and abuse of methamphetamine in Clay County. He has volunteered to educate youth, created a mock trail during Red Ribbon week, and has secured financial donations from businesses to fund Red Ribbon Week activities. In addition, he has been very vocal in making changes to the Local Coordinating Council (LCC) to make it a more viable change agent in battling the meth and other drug problems in the community. Judge Akers is known for his ability to work collaboratively with mental health providers in his county to address drug issues.
The second winner of a Volunteer Award was The Honorable David Bolk, Vigo County Superior Court. Judge Bolk is the current President of the Vigo County Mental Health Association and was instrumental in the creation of the Junior Mental Health Association, serving as the first chairperson of the Adult Advisory Committee. This valuable community program serves hundreds of middle and high school student each year. In addition, Judge Bolk helped to create the local PAIR program, a diversion program for individuals who have entered the court system because of their serious mental illness. This program has been very successful and has helped many people receive mental health treatment and successfully live in the community.
Staff Award winners:
The first staff award went to Kathy Ocampo, PhD, HSPP, Program Manager of Hamilton Center’s Clay County Satellite Office. She began her career with the organization nine years ago as a psychologist working with children, adults and families. She is described by her staff as a selfless supervisor who provides balance between providing compassionate, quality care to clients and fulfilling the needs of her staff. She also serves on many Hamilton Center and community committees including: Family Preservation and Support, Wraparound, First Step/Step Ahead Council, Hamilton Center’s intern training committee and the Local Coordinating Council.
second staff award went to Cynthia Sartor, PhD, LCSW, Associate Director
of Client Support Services. Dr. Sartor began her career with Hamilton
Center in 1985 as the Program Coordinator for the Sullivan County Satellite
Office. She later moved to Vigo County working as a social worker and
was later promoted to a Program Manager. In 1999 she became the Director
of Client Support Services, a program that works with people with serious
mental illnesses or those in need of longer term care. In 2004, Dr. Sartor
was promoted to her current position as Associate Director.
Dr. Sartor has devoted her career to helping people with serious mental illnesses improve their quality of life and was instrumental in the development of progressive programs at Hamilton Center such as Assertive Community Treatment, Partial Hospitalization and most recently the Lange apartments. In addition, she is a strong leader and mentor to many as she supervises a program of close to 250 staff in Parke, Vigo and Marion counties.