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DHS news release

Oct. 15, 2007

General contact: Ann Snyder, 503-945-5922
Program contact: Robert Nikkel, 503-373-7327

18 Oregonians to receive mental health excellence awards


Oct. 19 ceremony will help highlight Mental Illness Awareness Week

Eighteen individuals who have worked tirelessly to improve mental health services to Oregonians are this year's recipients of the Mental Health Awards for Excellence, sponsored annually by the Oregon Department of Human Services Addictions and Mental Health Division.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to call attention to the many caring and dedicated state and local partners who help provide mental health services throughout Oregon," said Robert Nikkel, DHS assistant director for addictions and mental health. "Their work is essential in delivering services to individuals in the communities where they live."

The awards ceremony will take place this Friday, Oct. 19, 1:30-3:30 p.m., as part of this year's Mental Illness Awareness Week activities. The location of the event is Room 260 of the Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter Street NE, on the Capitol Mall in Salem.

Award recipients are listed by city.


  • Michael Reaves, M.D., has been the chief mental health medical officer for Lane County since 1993 and the medical director for LaneCare since its creation. Has been instrumental in assisting LCMH recruit and retain outstanding medical staff, developing and overseeing a range of successful and innovative programs, and for ensuring LaneCare's excellent record for service delivery.
  • Martin Starr has served as the sole mental health specialist for the Lane County Department of Youth Services since 1998. He is a member of the Suicide Risk Panel, provides crisis interventions and mental health assessments, and provides family behavior management services to parents of youth in the juvenile justice system.

Eugene, Grants Pass, Oregon City and Portland

  • Susan Schloss (Eugene), Amara Thelen (Grants Pass), Sarah Briggs (Oregon City) and Mellani Calvin (Portland) have volunteered hundreds of hours as trainers to help organizations throughout Oregon find ways to increase access to Social Security benefits for persons with serious mental illness. Outcome data show that the training program, SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR), has helped increase initial application approval rates by 42 percent.


  • Shannon Boor is the HIPAA compliance officer for Morrow Wheeler Behavioral Health. As the MWBH office manager, she assists clients with research and paperwork, and provides administrative support to the organization.

Oregon City

  • Jammie Farish is a member of the Governor's Statewide Wraparound Project Steering Committee. She served for two years (2005-2007) as the family involvement coordinator with Clackamas County Mental Health, during which time she was instrumental in involving youth on CCMH's advisory council.


  • Amy Baker supervises the Multnomah County Family Care Coordination Team. Her efforts have been instrumental in expanding access to intensive, evidence-based mental health services for hundreds of children in Multnomah County.
  • Barbara Martin has been a primary care provider at Central City Concern's Old Town Clinic in Portland since 2005. She provides primary and behavioral health care to low-income and homeless patients, serving thousands each year. She has taken the lead in moving the clinic toward an integrated and team-based approach to health care, and this year became the clinician champion on CCC's primary care renewal project.
  • The Returning Veterans Resource Project Northwest is a nonprofit organization that offers free and confidential counseling to veterans and their families of past and current Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The grass roots organization, which was created in 2005, is composed of independent mental health professionals dedicated to helping veterans with the struggles of returning to civilian life.


  • Roderick Calkins is administrator of the Marion County Health Department. He led development of a geriatric mental health services program, guided planning and development of county-operated residential mental health services, and successfully advocated for expanded jail mental health services and creation of Marion County Mental Health Court
  • Lori Martin has been a nurse manager in the Oregon State Hospital since 2004. She works with Psychiatric Recovery Services and Geriatric Treatment Services, and volunteers as the point person for OSH and Portland Community College's joint RN education program.
  • Corbett Monica has been instrumental in developing Dual Diagnosis Anonymous in Oregon. DDA helps eradicate barriers to recovery for individuals who have not done well in traditional 12-step self-help groups.
  • Robert Wolf, M.D., interim medical director for Salem Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry, has worked tirelessly to help inpatient and outpatient clients in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Intensive Day Hospital Program, and has been part of the Early Assessment Support Team for five years.


  • R. Drake Ewbank oversees Springfield's consumer-run drop-in peer-support center, and volunteers countless hours of service to SAFE. He has served as director of the Empowerment Initiatives Board of Directors, and played a key role in helping craft Senate Bill 364 during the 2007 Legislative Session, which supports self-determination for individuals receiving mental health services.
  • Danielle Moore is a youth leader who serves on the Governor's Statewide Wraparound Project Steering Committee, Oregon Family Support Network Board of Directors, OFSN Lane County Youth Leadership Committee, and the Options Counseling Center Board of Directors. She has successfully built relationships with local businesses as a way to increase program resources.


  • Lisa Davila, an outreach worker for Luke-Dorf, Inc., a non-profit Washington County mental health agency, connects low-income and homeless individuals being released from emergency departments, jails and homeless shelters with access to an array of mental health, substance abuse and housing services.

In 1990 Congress designated the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in recognition of efforts to raise awareness about mental illness.