Awards and Social Session

(1) Awards Luncheon – Howery Award, Going to Bat Award

Friday, August 24, 2018 12:50 PM - 2:20 PM

The Victor I. Howery Memorial Award is given each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the rural mental health field.

The Howery Award this year will be presented to Lori Irvine. Lori is the Executive Director for the North Center Missouri Mental Health Center in Trenton, MO. This agency provides an array of behavioral health services across nine rural counties in that state, and as Executive Director, Lori has facilitated a variety of services that focus on improving this rural region. In addition to being the ED of NCMMH, she has diligently served as a board member for the National Association for Rural Mental Health over 10 years and in this capacity, has shown great leadership and wisdom, and earned the respect and admiration of board members along with the general membership of NARMH. Lori has for many years represented the best of what NARMH represents; dedication to the behavioral health of rural residents, a focus on developing and implementing effective policies, and continuing to find new and innovative ways to respond to human need.

The Going to Bat Award is given to an individual who has been a strong voice and advocate for rural mental health. The award is being presented to Harold Kudler, MD. From 2002 to 2014, Harold supported Veterans Integrated Network 6 (VISN 6) in various capacities including Mental Health Coordinator (2002-2010), Associate Director of VISN 6 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), and VISN 6 Rural Health Clinical lead. As the Rural Health Clinical Lead, Harold developed and disseminated best practices in support of Rural Veterans. He has been actively involved in establishing DOD/VA/State and Community Partnerships in support of combat veterans and their families in North Carolina and Virginia and helps promote similar partnerships in other states in both rural and urban areas. As a researcher, educator, and innovator, Harold has gone to bat for rural mental health.

(2) Reception, Networking and Rural Arts Award

Friday, August 24, 2018 3:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Join us for a reception as we network and present the Rural Art Award. The Rural Arts Award is given annually to honor the life-long contributions of Peter G. (Pete) Beeson to both rural mental health and the rural arts.

The 2018 recipient of the NARMH Rural Arts Award is the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation (NOMC&AF). This organization provides comprehensive health services to residents of the City of New Orleans and surrounding areas for the last 20 years. NOMC&AF’s model of accepting walk-ins, same day appointments, accepting patients no matter their insurance status or ability to pay, and that at every visit patients are given a mental health assessment, is a remarkable example of breaking down barriers to access to quality care and mental health care, a common issue for rural and remote populations. Moreover, NOMC&AF’s creative and unique efforts in the area of mental health are evident in their program called YOU GOT THIS (YGT), which has a focus on outreach designed for expressive and performing arts to help calm suicidal thoughts, feelings, and plans by promoting optimal mental health self-care. The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation demonstrates an extraordinary intersection of arts and mental health that NARMH upholds as the essence of the Peter G. Beeson Rural Arts Award.

(3) Continental Breakfast Buffet, NARMH Membership Meeting, and Ann Schumacher Award

Saturday, August 25, 2018 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Non-members as well as members are encouraged to join us for our annual membership meeting luncheon. This year, our membership meeting will highlight some of NARMH’s advocacy work as well as a few of the projects.

The Ann Schumacher Rural Clinical Practice Award is presented to an experienced practitioner who has demonstrated excellence, innovation, professional development and who has worked with domestic violence.

This year’s award will be presented to Perry Blankenship who is currently a school counselor and Project Aware Coordinator at the Sandy River Middle School in McDowell County, West Virginia. He is also an ordained and practicing chaplain. He grew up in McDowell County; the poorest county in West Virginia and one of the poorest counties in the United States. In the school system in which he works, nearly 100% of students are identified as living in poverty. He provides counseling services to 6th - 8th graders in the district, as well as others. Perry is a staunch supporter of improving rural behavioral health services, advocates for policy reform regarding care for children and youth and has been an invited speaker at national health agencies. Additionally, he is a combat-deployed Veteran who served during operation Desert Storm. He is a passionate and skilled clinician focused on helping others improve their lives and is also able to connect the dots between local, state, and federal policies and processes that connect issues regarding rural behavioral health issues and ties together how poverty and other systemic issues contribute to the broad problems.

(4) Networking at Local Restaurants

Saturday, August 25, 2018 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Meet in the lobby to travel together to local restaurants to network.