Hamilton Awards Presented Five 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 25, 2005 at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors at Hulman Center, Terre Haute, IN. Officers of the Board presented the awards. Dr. Frederick Frese, a trained psychiatrist and a diagnosed schizophrenic, gave the keynote address to an audience of close to 500 people.

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:

This year there were two Hamilton “Community” Award winners. The first winner was Freebird’s Solution Center, which opened their doors to people of the Wabash Valley in December of 2004 for people who might not have anywhere else to go if this organization did not exist. They provide a safe place for people to transition to drug-free and alcohol-free living. The center treats residents with dignity and respect, and was established with an all volunteer staff. They were represented at the ceremony by Teri Evans.

The second Hamilton “Community” Award was presented to the New Life Wesleyan Church of Mecca, Indiana. This organization proves their dedication to their community through such things as a food pantry and clothes closet for people who are in immediate need. They are also working on having a church bus outfitted to provide a portable clothes closet that will go where the need is. These are just a few of the many community efforts displayed by this recipient. They were represented by Pastor Chet Todd.

Volunteer Award winner:

Frank Volkers was the winner of this year’s Hamilton “Volunteer” Award. Mr. Vokers has been involved in Maryland Community Church, The Samaritan Project (which he founded in 1982), Lifeline (which he co-founded in 1970), as well as president of Wabash Valley Urban Connection, Inc. Since 1982, he has given financial counseling to over 2500 indigent or financially struggling families.

Staff Award winner:

This year there were also two Hamilton “Staff” Award winners. The first winner was Virgil Macke, MSW, LCSW, who works in the Client Support Services Division of Hamilton Center. Mr. Macke works as a gatekeeper to the state hospitals. In addition, one of his most notable accomplishments is his leadership of the P.A.I. R. Program. In March of 1999, Hamilton Center was the second county in Indiana to establish a psychiatric assertive identification and referral program (also known as P.A.I.R.). P.A.I.R. is a mental health diversion program designed to address the needs of persons with mental illness charged with minor criminal offenses. The nominator of this recipient put it best by saying, “His work with the P.A.I.R. program makes Hamilton Center and Vigo County enviable models for the humane treatment of the mentally ill in the judicial system.”

The second recipient of the Hamilton “Staff” Award was Dr. Randall L. Stevens, Physician with Hamilton Center’s Medical Services Division. Dr. Stevens’ career with Hamilton Center began in 1972 as a Psychiatric Technician. He is now providing services on the Inpatient unit and Addiction Services. His dedication to Hamilton Center does not stop there. He works as Medical Director at St. Ann’s Medical Clinic, donating services to indigent and low-income residents of Vigo County. He is currently the Medical Director of Vigo County Juvenile Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at IU School of Medicine, as well as Medical Director for the Vigo County Jail. His dedication to fighting addictions in The Wabash Valley could be considered one of his most notable achievements. His involvement with the methamphetamine task force is invaluable.

Return to 2005 News Stories