The 2018 Hamilton Awards

Hamilton Center, Inc. hosted the annual Hamilton Awards Dinner Tuesday, October 23rd, at the Sycamore Banquet Center, on the campus of Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, IN. Celebrating 47 years in the community, the theme for the dinner was “Regain Something Lost”. This theme embodies different things to different people as they reflect on what they have reclaimed in life that was once lost due to mental illness or addiction. Named in honor of Katherine Hamilton, an outspoken activist for improved mental healthcare, Hamilton Awards are given to individuals and organizations in the community that have contributed significantly to the cause of behavioral health and/or addictions. With nearly 40 nominations, the categories included were: Hamilton Center staff, community service, and outstanding volunteer service.

Hamilton Award, Hamilton Center Staff

Emily Owens Nominated for her hard work, professional standards, and commitment to improving the quality of life for Hamilton Center consumers. Emily began her career as a Wraparound Facilitator, was later promoted to manager, and soon after that executive director. A part of leadership team, Emily advocates for evidence based medicine and has invaluable knowledge of the mental health system.

Missy Burton Nominated for her servant leadership and dedication to Hamilton Center consumers Missy has been an integral part of Hamilton Center’s relationship with the Vigo County School Corporation. Working with teachers, counselors, principals, and administrators, Missy sets an elite standard for assessments, crisis evaluations, consultations, and supervision.

Hamilton Award, Community Service

Team of Mercy (T.O.M.) – Nominated for their advocacy for suicide awareness and support of the families affected by suicide, Team of Mercy was developed out of horrible personal tragedy. Christina Crist has used the passing of her daughter, Hannah, as motivation to create an organization dedicated to serving those left behind to suicide. They work tirelessly to offer financial assistance and emotional support within 24 hours of an event.

Principal Robin Smith – Nominated for her leadership of young minds and support of mental health initiatives at Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Principal Smith supported the idea of a student to start a mental health club. After contacting Hamilton Center with the idea, North students were soon trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA), a program that will equip students and staff with the skills to better support and assist each other.

Hamilton Award, Outstanding Volunteer Service

Sue Thiemann-Wynne – Nominated for her work with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) and commitment to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, Sue is a powerful advocate for mental health. In 2018, Sue led the way in bringing Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s Brain Extravaganza to Terre Haute. Working with ISU, Rose Hulman, and the VCSC, this was NAMI’s largest and most successful event in May which is mental health and stroke awareness month. Sue served on the board of Mental Health America, and worked with the IU Mini Med School to coordinate a program called “Demystifying Mental Illness”.

Keynote speaker Adam B. Hill, MD, shared his personal story of recovery from depression and substance use. Dr. Hill attended the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSOM), and went on to complete his pediatric residency training at St. Louis University, and fellowships at Duke University and IUSOM. Currently, Dr. Hill is the division director of the pediatric palliative care program at Riley Hospital for Children where he focuses on allowing patients to live the best quality of life possible, in the midst of chronic, life-limiting and/or life threatening medical conditions. In addition to this work, Dr. Hill is passionate about physician wellness and self-care and has become a nationally recognized lecturer on the topic, writing a book entitled “Long Walk out of the Woods: Lessons from A Physician’s Mental Health and Addiction Recovery”, pending publication.

Hamilton Center, Inc. thanks Adam B. Hill for sharing his story, and congratulates the winners of the 2018 Hamilton Awards. Hamilton Center acknowledges the efforts of all the nominees for these awards; together we can end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana. Services are provided to adolescents and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people with drug and alcohol problems. Counseling services are provided for people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

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