SPRINGFIELD — Five “exceptional people” received awards for their work serving Greene County residents from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene & Madison Counties (MHRB) Nov. 19.
“We are thrilled to recognize individuals who go above and beyond in their work and received more nominations this year than ever before,” said Greta Mayer, chief executive officer of MHRB, ahead of the annual Exceptional People Awards ceremony.
Pastor Greg Delaney, outreach coordinator at Woodhaven Recovery in Dayton, and Angela Dugger, executive director at NAMI Clark, Greene, and Madison Counties, received the Person of the Year Awards.
“Pastor Greg is such a phenomenal person; he has personally traveled the road of addiction and survived; he has used his personal recovery steps to guide others down the road of recovery,” his nominator, Lynne Carroll, program director at Sober Lotus Recovery Homes in Xenia, said. “He advocates for those who can not advocate for themselves … he advocates at local, state and national levels for much needed dollars to fight the opiate epidemic.”
Springfield City Fire Chief Brian Miller described a conversation he had had with Dugger when he reached out to her for advice in helping an employee who was dealing with trauma.
“During our talk she displayed a level of compassion and understanding I have never experienced before. She offered her expertise in a manner that made me think she was personally vested in the outcome; like it was her own family member she was trying to help,” Miller said.
Dugger nominated Kathryn Hitchcock, director of outreach and development at NAMI, for one of the two Delvin M. Harshaw Advocate of the Year Awards.
“Witnessing Kathryn’s passion and hard work continuously renews my faith, not only that personal recovery is possible, but that through passionate dedication to advocacy our community will recover the pervasive stigma still so palpable,” Dugger said. “Kathryn does not see the mental illness, she sees the person, not because that’s what NAMI believes or because it is what she is supposed to do but because it is at the core of who she is.”
Nathan Crago, manager at Christopher House in Xenia, accepted the Charles Christopher Award. Amy Pulver, executive director of the Hope Spot in Xenia; Ryan Fields, tech 1 cmm operator at Linkotech Medical, and Dustin Patterson, recovery house case manager at TCN Behavioral Health Services in Xenia, nominated him.
“Truth is most won’t realize to the full extent what someone like Nathan does to make a difference in the community, the deep depths that his work goes,” their statement reads. “But it looks like families reunited, children growing up with mom and dad, careers created and repaired, homeless buying homes, criminals that robbed communities now paying taxes, those who come to him broken now stand and take accountability for their lives, and those individuals begin to touch other lives, and the spiderweb continues.”
Bethany Finkbeiner, billing manager at the Greene County Educational Service Center (GCESC), received the Carol Wichman Award.
“Bethany Finkbeiner has been absolutely invaluable in our efforts to navigate the Medicaid Redesign. She has provided tireless, patient and positive support to all of our staff. She has an honest and straightforward interpersonal style that makes working with her a joy,” Dr. Tim Callahan, director of mental health services for GCESC, said.
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