Honorees of the 2018 Arizona Behavioral Health Awards

Behavioral Health Honorees 2018

Behavioral Health Awards Winners'

(left to right, Shana Malone, Blanca Acosta, Senator David Bradley, Haley Coles, Dr. Frank Scarpati)



Shana Malone

Leadership in Service Award Winner

Shana Malone

Shana Malone currently serves as the Clinical Initiatives Project Manager for AHCCCS’ Office of the Director.  Among her many duties and responsibilities, Shana has personally spearheaded the Arizona Opioid State Targeted Response initiative, working across multiple sectors with amazing energy to move the needle on Arizona’s opioid crisis. Shana has a master’s degree in Human Development with a clinical specialty in family systems therapy, and completed her doctoral coursework in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Her academic work focused on computational social science, social and emotional development and dynamical systems applications. Prior to coming to AHCCCS, Shana was the Director of the Statistical Analysis Center at the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission where she developed the original pilot model for the Arizona Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative. Shana has worked on several local and national multi-systemic prevention and evaluation health outcome projects, and she has experience as a therapist in Arizona.



Blanca Acosta

Cultural Heritage Award Winner

Blanca Acosta

Blanca Acosta serves as the Executive Director at Constructing Circles of Peace in Nogales, Arizona. She has been working in the social and behavioral health field since 1999, where she started her service as a Health Promoter in various programs providing education, training and advocacy for low income families. Under her leadership, Constructing Circles of Peace has expanded from a small domestic violence offender treatment center, to a nationally recognized leader in restorative justice. Under Blanca, the services at Circles of Peace now include: Pre-Trial Services, Outpatient Treatment for Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse Treatment, Drug Court Program, Drug Free Communities Grant, Strengthening Families Program, and Entre Amigas Women’s Support Group. Over the course of several years, Blanca has advocated for cultural competence best practices and improved services to marginalized, Latino, Spanish-speaking women in Santa Cruz County. She has worked on the Women’s Behavioral Health Initiative of Santa Cruz County as a lead decision-maker and has advocated for the only fully inclusive and culturally sensitive, women’s support group in Santa Cruz County. She is focused on closing the women’s health and wealth gap in Santa Cruz County. She is passionate about empowering the women of SCC to reach their many diverse goals. Because of her guidance, over 50 women have directly received personal mentoring and have reached their SMART goals for the year. Some of which were to start their own business, speak English, gain employment, finish high school, and enroll in parenting classes. Blanca is a woman of passion and integrity. She never seeks recognition, awards or applause. She works tirelessly to improve the lives of the marginalized and forgotten through her programs and work at Circles of Peace. We would all do good to watch and learn from this woman. Santa Cruz County is fortunate to have a woman like Blanca Acosta.



Senator David Bradley

Leadership in Legislation Award Winner

Senator David Bradley

Arizona State Senator David Bradley has been an Arizona resident for over 50 years. He was raised in Phoenix, attended high school in Tucson, and after earning his degrees while serving in the Navy, he returned to Tucson where he currently lives with his family. Dave was a member of the Arizona State Legislature from 2003 to 2011 serving District 28 in Tucson. He served on Health, Human Services, Banking and Insurance, Higher Education and various ad-hoc committees during his tenure. Currently he is serving his third term in the Arizona State Senate, serving on health, education and judiciary committees. He has received numerous awards for his advocacy of children and families during his legislative career and had the reputation for being a reasonable, thoughtful and articulate legislator who reaches across the aisle to work in the best interest of Arizona. Dave was the Chief Executive Officer of La Paloma Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit child welfare agency for over 18 years. He has been working in child welfare and mental health services for over 35 years, practicing as a licensed counselor and administrator throughout southern Arizona. He currently serves as the Chief Development Officer of La Frontera Arizona, in Tucson. He holds degrees in management, psychology and counseling and is often asked to speak to various groups about these topics as well as legislative issues confronting the State of Arizona.


Haley Coles

Leadership in Advocacy Award Winner

Haley Coles

Anyone in the treatment arena in Arizona likely knows the name Haley Coles, founder and Executive Director of Sonoran Prevention Works. Within only a few years, this organization has successfully collaborated with stakeholders to improve health outcomes for Arizonans that so often fall through the cracks. Though the numbers of people impacted are impressive (SPW has distributed over 25,000 naloxone kits since 2015), it is impossible to capture Haley’s impact on our community, as it is rooted in her relationships with individuals impacted by drug use including: family members, first responders, medical providers, behavioral health providers, and people who use drugs themselves. Sonoran Prevention Works was a tireless advocate in passing the naloxone legislation of 2016, and continues to push forward with bipartisan legislation to improve health outcomes and spread evidence-based practice. Many in our field have been privileged to learn from and work with Haley, who has changed the way many practice outreach with people who use drugs. In the true spirit of advocacy, her commitment to inclusion is evidenced by her ability to bring everyone to the table. Her investment in Arizona, her work ethic, and unwavering passion bring inspiration to all who meet her.


Frank Scarpati Ed.D

Legacy Award Winner

Dr. Frank Scarpati

Dr. Frank Scarpati has had a brilliant and robust career, and has contributed countless hours, time and energy to leading efforts of change and innovation across our State. In 1996, Dr. Scarpati became the President/CEO of the East Valley Addiction Council, a medical detoxification unit supported by 25 employees and nurtured it into becoming Community Bridges, Inc., an Arizona private non-profit agency, currently with 750 employees who deliver Integrated Behavioral Health and Medical services throughout Arizona. Dr. Scarpati is the creator of UnScript, an integrated approach to treating the bio-psycho-social-spiritual consequences of unintentional substance dependence resulting from overutilization of prescription medication. Frank Scarpati has a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Southern California, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia College. He is a certified Psychotherapist; a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC); Master’s Level Addiction Counselor (State, National, and International); Compulsive Gambling Counselor; and Community College Teacher.  Dr. Scarpati has also completed advanced training from the Center for Applied Science as a Relapse Prevention Specialist; the Arizona Attorney General’s Office as a Labor Relations Mediator; and a Reality Therapist Certification from the Los Angeles based Reality Therapy Institute. He maintains proficiency in the field of Addiction Treatment as a non-Physician Professional participant in the American Society of Addiction Medicine , or ASAM, and for the past five years, has served as a member of the Governance Board of Magellan Healthcare of Arizona---the Administrator of the largest public behavioral health service contract in the country.


About the Awards

The Arizona Behavioral Health Awards was established by the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy to recognize concerned citizens, clinical leaders, policymakers and individuals who have dedicated themselves to behavioral health services in Arizona communities.

Awards are presented in five categories:

The Legacy Award recognizes the career of a behavioral health leader.

The Cultural Heritage Award recognizes an individual or agency that has brought cultural distinction to the behavioral health field.

The Leadership in Advocacy Award recognizes an individual who has championed policies that enhance behavioral health services in Arizona.

The Legislative Leadership Award recognizes an elected official who has helped strengthen allocation from behavioral health services.

The Leadership in Services Award recognizes an individual who has excelled in the provision of behavioral health services.

Since its inception in 2005, the Arizona Behavioral Health Award has been presented to 44 individuals and agencies throughout the state for their significant contributions to improvements in, access to and impact of behavioral health care. The recipients reflect the highest standard of quality in the delivery of publicly funded behavioral health services to Arizonans.

A story detailing last year’s awardees is available here: Honorees of the 2017 Arizona Behavioral Health Awards.