Moving Forward

Contributor: Dwight Weaver, Program Manager – Child & Adolescent Services

This time last year, it was hard to believe that this pandemic would cause such a disruption to our lives. That impact won’t be fully understood for years to come, but it is clear that our lives are forever changed.

As the pandemic seems to be coming to an end, it is imperative that we begin addressing the underlying mental health crisis that is still affecting children and families today. The compounded stresses and year of instability has led to an increase in the number of youth experiencing mental health issues. 

As schools closed and transitioned to virtual learning, parents who typically went to work each day were now working from home while simultaneously teaching their children.  This isolation from peers and social supports caused immense stress for our youth.

Now, as children and teens return to activities and communities reopen, our youth are beginning to regain some things lost to the pandemic. Even so, there is an acute need for mental health services to help our young people manage this transition. Moving forward we must adapt to their unique needs. Youth, who may still be learning how to appropriately express their thoughts and feelings, may have setbacks caused by the lack of social engagement. High school students have struggled with loss of traditions and milestones. All of these unique struggles can lead to negative feelings of loneliness, depression, and thoughts of suicide.

So how can we help our youth during this time?

Start with a conversation about resiliency. Resiliency factors can help us cope with changes, challenges, and complications that may arise in our life. The more resiliency we have, the better we are able to handle and overcome challenges in life. If we can support our youth with activities that build resiliency, then we can start the process of helping our youth overcome the difficulties of this past year.

Next, start moving forward. Normal may never be what it was before, but we can regain some of what was lost.  Focusing on what we can control and encouraging our youth to re-engage in activities and reconnect with their communities, families, and friends promotes a healthy lifestyle and builds resiliency too. Both are effective in helping to overcome mental health challenges.

Finally, focus on mental health. Spend quality time with family and friends.  The value of such small and simple activities cannot be overstated when it comes to your mental health. Build friendships, learn new skills, and socialize with peers in a positive learning environment. The solutions to the mental health challenges our young people face are within our reach.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and 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.

For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.

Hamilton Center Continues Expansion of 24-hour Services

Serves 150 in year one of CCBHC Expansion Grant, plans to double number served in year two

One year after being awarded a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Expansion Grant, Hamilton Center, Inc. continues to work towards improving access to evidence-based community behavioral health and integrated primary care services for individuals who live and seek services in Vigo County.

In May 2020, Hamilton Center received a two-year $3.75M CCBHC Expansion Grant, and one year into the grant, the organization has served over 150 consumers by expanding 24-hour services to include a Mobile Crisis Unit, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team, and primary health care screenings. In this first year, Hamilton Center met all requirements for the grant and looks forward to serving clients in year two. The organization has set goals for serving 325 people through various CCBHC services.

“Hamilton Center is constantly working to bring new and innovative services to west central Indiana,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “This grant has allowed us to expand both crisis services and services to those who have serious mental illness. Quality of life has improved for many.”

24/7 Access Services continue to grow and expand

The Mobile Crisis Unit is an innovative way for Hamilton Center to deliver services directly to consumers in crisis. Through a partnership with local dispatch, emergency departments, and law enforcement, individuals are diverted to the Mobile Crisis Unit where they are connected to the most appropriate care for their mental health needs. The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team, is an intensive team approach to community mental health service delivery that assists people in becoming independent and integrating into the community, providing access to services 24 hours a day.

“All too often, those in a mental health crisis are referred to emergency departments or end up in the criminal justice system,” said Lynn Hughes, Chief of Community Engagement at Hamilton Center, Inc. “Through the expansion of these services, we are working to meet individuals where they are — out in the community, in an environment where they are most comfortable – so that we can provide them with support, relief and care quickly while avoiding unnecessary law enforcement involvement, Emergency Department use and hospitalization.”

Primary care screenings to double in year two

In year two of CCBHC Expansion Grant, Hamilton Center has set a goal of administering 250 unduplicated primary health care screenings, which more than doubles the number served in year one. Increasing these screenings will provide greater access to coordinated care between behavioral health and primary care.

“For some, the pandemic has hindered access to treatment and services,” said Art Fuller, Executive Director of Access Services. “What we are trying to do is optimize the time we spend with our consumers to meet their physical and mental health needs. We are here to provide support 24/7.”

In addition, Hamilton Center recently received a mini-grant that coincides with the continuation of the CCBHC Expansion Grant. The grant provides $5,000 and will focus on improving integration of behavioral health and primary care services.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, Ind.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and 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.

For questions or inquiries about services, call (812)-231-8323 or visit www.hamiltoncenter.org. Hamilton Center can also be contacted 24 hours a day for mental health or substance crisis assessments and referrals at (800) 742-0787.

Hamilton Center Raises $31,000 for Children’s Mental Health Services

Over 80 Sponsors engage 30th Annual Sheriff Shootout

Hamilton Center, Inc. (HCI) hosted its 30th Annual Sheriff Shootout on Friday, May 14, 2021 at Rea Park in Terre Haute, IN. There were 57 teams in attendance from the local and surrounding counties. The top finishers of the community tournament were Old National Bank, Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club, State Farm Insurance, Genoa Healthcare, Andy Jones, and IUOE Local 841. In addition, The Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department defeated seven other area Sheriff’s Departments to take home the coveted Sheriff Shootout Trophy. Involving more than 80 sponsors, the event raised over $31,000 that will benefit children’s mental health services at Hamilton Center.

In the 2021 State of Mental Health in America, Mental Health America reported that 9.7 percent of youth in the US have severe major depression, while eight in ten youth screened reported moderate to severe anxiety since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020.

“Everyone has struggled this year, though the struggles of our youth have been unique,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “We are pleased to have the support of so many of our community partners in addressing mental health related issues for children and adolescents in the community.”

In addition, Mental Health America reported 37 percent of youth that were screened reported experiencing suicidal ideations more than half or nearly every day during a two-week time period; 22 percent reported experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm nearly every day during that same period.

In recognition of 50 years of service to the community, and as an effort to begin to address the lasting impacts of the pandemic, Hamilton Center, Inc. is offering free suicide prevention training to organizations and individuals. Trainings include Questions Persuade Refer (QPR) and Signs of Suicide (SOS).

“We know there has been a whole other storm brewing in our youth during the pandemic, in large part due to social isolation and fear of illness,” said Mark Collins, Chief Clinical Officer at Hamilton Center, Inc. “These trainings are one way communities and individuals can foster an awareness of mental health and its impact on our overall wellbeing, especially for our youth who have struggled greatly.”

To learn more about the suicide prevention trainings or to register, go to hamiltoncenter.org/communitytraining or call 812-231-8323.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and 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.

For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.

Hamilton Center Receives LCC Grant for Addictions Treatment

Matrix Scholarships, Materials, and Equipment

Hamilton Center, Inc. has been awarded a grant from the Owen County Local Coordinating Council (LCC) and the Owen County Drug Free You & Me initiative that will fund addictions treatment scholarships for 12-15 individuals, as well as training for 2 staff members in Relapse Prevention. Through certification of The Matrix Model, Hamilton Center provides an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which runs three times a week. The programming uses technology to deliver and enhance treatment through presentations, programming videos, and Motivational Interviewing. In 2018, Hamilton Center was designated as the first certified site for The Matrix Model in the state of Indiana, achieving a three-year Certification with Excellence.

The Matrix scholarships will remove the financial barrier to addictions treatments. Hamilton Center has state-certified navigators who can help those who are in need of services complete a health insurance application to obtain insurance that would potentially cover all their health care needs. “This process can take weeks, if not months, to complete and often presents an overwhelming financial barrier in seeking treatment,” said Cindy Rotman, Program Manager, Hamilton Center, Inc., Owen County. “Support from the Owen County LCC Drug Free Community Fund will help offset costs of Matrix programming, allowing consumers to receive the treatment they need in a timely manner, which can be crucial in the process of recovery from addiction,” added Mrs. Rotman.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN. Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and 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.

For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.

Hamilton Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Commemorates half-century of efforts to improve mental health care

Terre Haute, IN – In 2021, Hamilton Center, Inc. commemorates its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1971, originally as Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center, the organization has served communities and individuals across west central Indiana with progressive and community-focused behavioral health services.


“Hamilton Center, with the help of committed community partners, has advanced behavioral health and addiction treatment,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “Our long standing philosophy of “least restrictive care” has assisted those with severe mental illnesses and chronic addiction issues to live successfully and independently in their home communities. Hope has often been restored, quality of life enhanced, and in many cases, lives have been saved.”


Then and Now:

In the late 1950’s, Katherine Hamilton, like many caregivers during that time, was faced with the reality of an inadequate mental health system that focused on institutionalized care. Her sister was struggling with severe mental illness (schizophrenia), and professionals did not provide much hope. After handing her sister over to a long-term care facility, with minimal knowledge or influence over the quality of care she would receive, she began to work to improve conditions and services for those with mental illnesses. Her work nationally and statewide would serve as a foundation for progress in treatment.


After the Community Mental Health Center Act passed in 1963, Indiana began working to establish community based treatment. After immense community organizing and fundraising, the Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center opened its doors at 620 8th Ave, Terre Haute in February 1971. People in the area were now able to seek services close to home rather than traveling to larger cities.


“That history, is the story of citizens, volunteers and professionals… infused with the belief that mental illness was a major illness in a community and that the dire lack of facilities of treament could be corrected. They believed that through community organization, this could be accomplished.”

-History of Hamilton Center

Key historical highlights include:
• 1967 Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center became a not-for-profit corporation
• 1971 Main campus opened – 620 8th Ave.
• 1972 Developmental disability services added
• 1973 Clay, Parke, Sullivan, and Vermillion Counties offices opened
• 1975 Greene County office opened
• 1976 Children’s services offered
• 1978 Residential services added
• 1981 Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center changed to Hamilton Center Inc.
• 1986 Employment services added
• 1987 Child & Adolescent Services moves to new 500 8th Ave. building
• 1993 Healthy Families program opened
• 1995 Owen County services established
• 1995 Early Head Start services established
• 1997 Indianapolis office opened
• 1998 Putnam County office opened
• 2000 Bloomfield office opened
• 2012 HCI Foundation created
• 2017 Clubhouse services began
• 2018 WIN Recovery opened in Vigo County
• 2019 Grace Clinic Health Professional opened
• 2020 WIN Recovery offices opened in Knox and Hendricks Counties
• 2020 FQHC Look-Alike designation
• 2020 Received Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) grant


Since 1971, Hamilton Center, Inc. has pursued a mission to provide quality behavioral healthcare, wellness, and human development services to the community by expanding behavioral health services to 21 locations across 11 counties in west central Indiana. Today, employing over 650 individuals, this regional organization has grown to include a comprehensive system of care including whole person wellness through integrated behavioral and primary healthcare services and a large menu of programs serving children and families. In addition, Hamilton Center hosts a number of beloved community events, support drives, and social justice initiatives further advancing its vision of excellence in behavioral health services through compassion, customer responsiveness, innovation, and flexibility.


“I speak for every employee, current and past, when I say thank you central and west central Indiana for your support and the privilege of serving our communities,” said Burks.


A Golden Year of Celebrations:


In celebration of its achievements, Hamilton Center will host a series of exciting opportunities to share with the community the milestones and challenges of the last half-century while looking forward to future opportunities. Here is what to look for:


• Proclamation of Hamilton Center, Inc. Day – On February 18, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennet will be a guest on Facebook Live with Melvin L, and recognize Hamilton Center, Inc. for its 50 years of commitment to improving access and care to those struggling with mental illness.

• Free suicide prevention training to community organizations. To learn more go to trainingourcommunity.org.


• Moments in Time: Hamilton Center through the Years – Throughout the year, themed in accordance with national holidays and monthly observances, the organization will release content across a variety of platforms recognizing significant advances in behavioral healthcare and its own corporate history.


• The Annual Hamilton Awards Dinner – Hamilton Center, Inc. will conduct nominations for the Hamilton Awards beginning in fall of 2021, announcing winners on October 26, 2021 at the Annual Dinner. More information about the event will be released in early fall.

How to Get the Most Out of Telehealth

Hamilton Center offers tips for success

Telehealth has proven to be a convenient means for patients to interact with health care professionals; this is true for both our physical and mental health concerns.

Even so, telehealth can be uniquely delicate.

The best of sessions can feel “normal” and just like any other routine visit. Other sessions might end up feeling “tricky” or “clumsy”. The important thing to realize is that you are not alone in that experience and there are ways to improve it.

Here are some “tips and tricks” to improve your telehealth session and maximize your connection with your provider:

Do a mic check and a camera check before things start. Make sure that your provider can hear and see you clearly. No matter the device you are using always try to keep it stationary; use a table or a shelf and refrain from holding it in your hand; shoulder height is optimal. If internet connection is an issue move closer to your Wi-Fi source, or turn off other devices using Wi-Fi. Don’t start until you are sure your provider can hear and see you.

Create a quiet environment and minimize the potential for distraction. Perhaps go into a room and shut the door or let those around you know that you will be unavailable for a short time. Distractions can easily disrupt the process and progress of a telehealth session. Both you and your provider are there to discuss your physical and mental health needs, so give them your undivided attention.

Have your prescriptions, insurance information, and health history on-hand to review with the provider, as needed. The provider will need this information to properly complete the assessment. If you do not have specific information take notes and follow up after the session.

Be forward and up-front with your provider about your current physical and mental well-being. Thoroughly inform them of the specific issues you are having, including how those issues might be affecting other aspects of your health. Physical and mental health are closely connected; if you are in need of more specialized care your provider can refer you.

Make sure you and your provider are on the same page by checking-in mid-session. Ask questions. If something is unclear, or you have other concerns or comments, don’t be afraid to have your provider go back over them or elaborate further. Even repeating your provider’s instructions or comments as you understand them can go a long way in establishing clear communication. Try not to let the stress of technology or social distancing keep you from addressing your healthcare needs.

Telehealth is a powerful tool that everyone can use to ensure healthful outcomes in interactions with their providers.

Hamilton Center is open and currently serving the community with the highest quality mental and behavioral health services, as well as primary and integrated care services. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call 1-800-742-0787.

Telehealth Utilization is Up, Likely Here to Stay

Hamilton Center sees positive trends

Earlier this year the Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that telehealth interactions had increased from nine percent, prior to the pandemic, to 51 percent, during quarantine. Similarly, the CDC recently reported a 50 percent increase in telehealth services during the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019. The vast majority of those cases were unrelated to COVID-19; however, there was a whopping 154 percent increase in telehealth sessions in the last week of March of 2020, marking the start of the rise of COVID-19 cases in the US and social distancing guidelines.

Telehealth services had been utilized for years by Hamilton Center, mainly as a way to connect with hospitals to provide psychiatric consultation.  This was particularly important in rural areas where providers were at a minimum.  Recently, telehealth services have grown to be the primary way people are receiving treatment. “Telehealth has been an excellent tool in addressing the needs of rural communities with limited access to healthcare, including for both primary health and behavioral health,” said Mark Collins, Chief Clinical Officer at Hamilton Center, Inc. “During COVID-19 the structures and systems we created to meet those demands have really assisted us in transitioning towards telehealth.”

Much of the rapid increases in telehealth services can be explained by the demands of the pandemic and the need to social distance; however, certain federal privacy regulations have become more flexible and broadened access to telehealth services to include video conferencing and telephonic conferencing, all with the goal of meeting COVID-19 demands. In person services are still available for emergency situations and when a face to face appointment is needed.

HHS also reported that while telehealth is expected to fall post-COVID-19, it’s also expected to level out at a much higher proportion of all delivery methods; around 21 percent of all delivered services. In addition, a recent national poll conducted by Morning Consult estimates that around 23 percent of all adults utilized telehealth during COVID-19.

“Towards the beginning, telehealth was relatively new to our patients and even some providers,” said Collins. “Now though, telehealth, for both primary and behavioral healthcare, is pulling its own weight in service delivery. In many ways we have seen patients become more accustomed to telehealth and even be drawn to it for convenience.”

In FY21 the organization delivered 23 percent of all services via telehealth, which included the first several months of the pandemic and quarantine. Today, many months into the pandemic, Hamilton Center delivers the majority of outpatient services via telehealth and continues to serve patients through in-person services when clinically appropriate, throughout its traditional 10-county service area.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana headquartered in Terre Haute, IN. Services include 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.

To access services call 1-800-742-0787 or visit hamiltoncenter.org.

Want to learn more about how to get the most out of your telehealth session? Click here.

Local Students Raise Nearly $7,000 in Funds for Suicide Prevention

Giana White (left) and Jillian Turner (right), co-managers of the Color Run to Save Lives, present a check to Melvin L Burks (center), CEO of Hamilton Center, in support of suicide prevention and mental health services. The event took place in early November and gathered 150 participants and 20 volunteers, raising nearly seven thousand dollars.
Giana White (left) and Jillian Turner (right), co-managers of the Color Run to Save Lives, present a check to Melvin L Burks (center), CEO of Hamilton Center, in support of suicide prevention and mental health services. The event took place in early November and gathered 150 participants and 20 volunteers, raising nearly seven thousand dollars.

Hamilton Center, Inc. has received $6991.34 as the beneficiary of The Color Run to Save Lives, created and managed by Jillian Turner and Giana White of Terre Haute South Vigo High School. The event took place on November 7, 2020 at Fairbanks Park in Terre Haute, IN, gathering together 150 participants and 20 volunteers.

“Mental health is more relevant than ever, during covid-19,” said Jillian Turner, event co-manager and DECA student at Terre Haute South High School. “We are all so thankful for everyone who came out in support of suicide prevention.”

According to the Center for Disease Control the rate of deaths by suicide for the first quarter of 2020, and before the start of the pandemic, were already up from the previous year. In fact, Hamilton Center has seen an increase in mental health services related to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

“One of the goals of this event was to end the stigma around mental illness, and to further the conversation around suicide prevention,” said Giana White, event co-manager and DECA student at Terre Haute South Vigo High School. “We want any individuals who may be struggling with their mental health to know that they are not alone and that help is out there.”

“These two young ladies have really shown a heart for serving others, and for talking about the hard things, like mental health,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center. “We appreciate all of their efforts, the community’s efforts, and that of our community partners to create a meaningful and safe event for such an important cause.”

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana headquartered in Terre Haute Services include 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.

Terre Haute Organizations Receive Lilly Endowment Grants

Terre Haute, IN – Chances And Services for Youth, Hamilton Center, Reach Services and the Terre Haute Children’s Museum have received grants totaling $254,000 through the Youth Program Resilience Fund of Lilly Endowment, Inc.

These local not-for-profits will use the grants to cover a range of pandemic-related expenses that include:

• purchasing sanitation supplies, personal protective equipment and materials needed to promote social-distancing
• modest site modifications so organizations can deliver safe programs and services during the pandemic
• improving technology to support remote learning, engagement and information sharing due to decreased in-person activities
• meeting increased general operating expenses, including hiring more staff to lower staff-to-child ratios and more planning and training about new safety protocols
• engaging consultants to strengthen support for youth and their families most deeply affected by the pandemic, including referrals to wrap-around services and for mental health services

With this support, these organizations are better able to continue their commitment to meeting their missions during a time when they are needed now more than ever.

“We are all grateful to the Lilly Endowment to receive these grant dollars at this critical time in our history. All of these organizations are committed to making Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley a wonderful place to call home,” Susan Turner, executive director, Terre Haute Children’s Museum, said. “These funds help ensure we are able to continue our missions and provide services to those who need them most. In addition, I’m really proud to see our names on this list with some of the best from across the state.”

“Lilly Endowment is continually responsive to community needs and working to improve the quality of life in Indiana. We are grateful for their mission and work,” said Melvin L. Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center Inc. “This grant will allow us to support children and families during a very challenging time.”

The grants to CASY, Hamilton Center, Reach Services and THCM represent four of the 297 grants that Lilly Endowment has made through the Youth Program Resilience Fund to help youth-serving organizations across Indiana adapt their work to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants from this fund are part of more than $170 million in grants Lilly Endowment has made to help organizations serve individuals and communities amid the pandemic.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion, and it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

2020 Hamilton Awards Celebrates Leaders in Community

Highlights Nominees’ Focus on Community

Terre Haute, IN – Hamilton Center, Inc. hosted the annual Hamilton Awards Dinner Tuesday, October 27 at the Sycamore Banquet Center, on the campus of Indiana State University. The event highlighted fiscal year 2020 accomplishments and recognized those nominated for Hamilton Awards. The theme for the event was Community and featured Hamilton Center’s role in the community especially during COVID-19.

“This pandemic has caused Hamilton Center to re-engineer how services could be delivered safely and effectively,” said, Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “I am proud of our staff for finding creative solutions, sticking to our proactive plan and ensuring consumers are supported.”

“I am also so humbled by the contribution of all of the Hamilton Award nominees.  Lives have been enhanced and our community has benefited greatly from their work,” he added. 

Katherine Hamilton, for whom the Center and awards are named, fought for the inclusion, acceptance and support of those struggling with mental illness in the early 1960’s. She emphasized the importance of community in her life’s work. In this spirit, Hamilton Awards were created to recognize individuals and organizations who have significantly contributed to the cause of mental health and addiction while furthering the mission of Hamilton Center, Inc. Nominees were recognized in the categories of Hamilton Center staff, Community, and Volunteer. Winners are as follows:

Hamilton Award, Staff

Mark Collins Nominated for his 16 years of service, steadfast leadership in uncertain times, and unwavering commitment to the safety of consumers and staff. Mr. Collins began his career as a case manager in 2004 and worked his way up in the corporation to his current position of Chief Clinical Officer, where he exemplifies dedication, integrity and servanthood in ensuring Hamilton Center meets all standards of care.

Hamilton Award, Community Service

Casey Brown & Family, Mask Makers of the Wabash Valley – Nominated for their public service during the COVID-19 pandemic by manufacturing of over 14,000 masks. In the face of adversity during the pandemic, they turned their energy toward doing something positive to help others.  They made much needed masks for first responders, medical personnel and mental health workers – including Hamilton Center employees, consumers and their families. Their efforts demonstrated what it means to be a part of a community. Their spirit and service to others is a beacon of hope in troubling times.

Hamilton Award, Outstanding Volunteer Service

DeAnna Griffin – Nominated for her involvement in the Wabash Valley Recovery Alliance and tireless service to those struggling with addiction, in recovery, and those currently involved in the legal system. Ms. Griffin spends a significant portion of her personal time providing transportation to those in need to attend important appointments such as doctor’s visits, DCS meetings, court dates, and even work. Described by her nominator as “simply the most giving and selfless woman I have had the pleasure of working with”, Ms. Griffin often works 15 hour days to further the message of recovery.

In addition to the Hamilton Awards, two individuals were recognized with Frank W. Jerse awards. This award, named in memory of Frank W. Jerse, is given to a community member who is a veteran or supported military families or who has significantly contributed to the community.  Dr. Jerse served during World War II, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and received a purple heart.  In addition, Dr. Jerse dedicated much of his career furthering post-secondary education at Indiana State University.  Lastly, he was a major contributor to the establishment of Hamilton Center.

This year, two individuals received Jerse Awards. The first recipient is Mr. Oscar Session, a 36-year educator who started his career as a teacher and ended it as an elementary school principal. After retiring from a fruitful career in education, he has been involved in various community organizations, including the Spruce Street A.M.E. Church, The Terre Haute Wabash Valley Foundation Board, United Child Care Board, Young Men’s Civic Club, and the local NAACP. A primary focus of his efforts has been in education and working to prepare youth for employment in the Terre Haute.

The second recipient of the Jerse award is Randy Steven, MD, who began working at Hamilton Center in 1972 as a Mental Health Technician and currently works as a physician on the clinical staff. He attended Indiana State University School of Medicine and has had a long career of leadership in the medical field in the area. Besides being active at Union Hospital and Hamilton Center in a medical capacity, he has been the volunteer medical director of St Ann’s Clinic and Hospice of the Wabash Valley.  He has always had a special interest in addiction medicine and has worked with local and State leaders to further the field. Lastly, he is a veteran who served in Vietnam. 

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.