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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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
Kathy Bashor serves as Manager of the Office of Individual and Family Affairs at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) - Department of Health Care Advocacy and Advancement. She earned a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University and holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Kentucky. Read more.
Michael Franczak currently serves as the Chief of Operations for the Marc Community Resources in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Franczak has been involved in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Development Disability services in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona for the past 40 years. Read more.
Peggy J. Chase is President and CEO of Terros Health, a growing integrated, whole health care company that has been helping Arizonans on their recovery journeys since 1969. Terros Health is an industry leader in substance use disorder treatment; counseling and recovery services for those challenged with mental illness; family and adolescent in-home and outpatient counseling; mobile crisis response services; HIV testing and treatment; and community prevention. Read More.
Benjamin C. Runkle currently holds the position of Associate General Counsel for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the government agency responsible for administering the Medicaid and behavioral health programs for the State of Arizona. Read more.
The Legacy Award for a career of behavioral health leadershipis awarded to Thelma Ross, CEO of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), Greater Phoenix Area. For 28 years, Ross has provided humane, person-centered substance abuse counseling, supportive services and housing for women and families facing domestic violence and trauma. At NCADD-Phoenix, where she served as clinical director for nearly 10 years before becoming CEO in 2010, she has created and supervised a number of successful, innovative programs and advocated for evidence-based services and monitored outcomes.
The Cultural Heritage Award for bringing cultural distinction to the behavioral health field recognizes Anthony Johnson, director of social services for the Phoenix Area Colorado River Service Unit of the Indian Health Service. Johnson is also a board member of the National Association of Social Workers – Arizona Chapter. In addition to serving as a clinical provider, medical social worker and social services director, he oversees behavioral health services in numerous outlying tribal areas, where he has directly increased access to care for Native Americans in a manner consistent with cultural values and traditions.
The Leadership in Advocacy Award for championing policies that enhance behavioral health services is awarded to Emily Jenkins, president and CEO of the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers. As health care attorney, Jenkins served on the boards of Community Legal Services and Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. Her volunteer work with state and national initiatives, and as chair of the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, have improved outcomes for children affected by family violence and parental incarceration. Jenkins served on the Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence, and she now serves on St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center’s board of directors.
The Leadership in Services Award for excellence in providing behavioral health services recognizes David Rhodes, a 22-year veteran of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, where he is commander of the Detention Services Division. He is a strong supporter of decriminalizing mental illness, using trauma-aware approaches and promoting health and wellbeing among persons affected by mental illness. Rhodes has worked with community partners and the criminal justice system to develop collaborative pre-arrest and post-arrest approaches to jail diversion. He has also collaborated with other agencies to provide mental health treatment to prisoners and coordination of care from booking through release.
The Legislative Leadership Award honors Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, who has served in the Arizona Legislature, as representative and senator, for 30 years. Since her initial election to the Arizona House of Representatives three years after graduating from ASU with a degree in sociology, she has consistently advocated for access to mental health and addiction treatment, and has lent a strong and steady voice to the issues of child safety and welfare. Her legislative record reflects her dedication to education, health care and improving the safety and resilience of Arizona communities. McCune Davis also spent 12 years as a community relations specialist in behavioral health for ComCare, a former Regional Behavioral Regional Behavioral Health Authority serving Maricopa County.
Leading off this year’s awardees with the ASU Behavioral Health Advocacy Award is attorney Ms. Anne Ronan. Ms. Ronan has served on the legal staff of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest for many years and has been a tireless and relentless advocate for Arizonans experiencing mental health and substance use issues, and those involved in the criminal justice, child welfare, and other systems.
Joining Ms. Ronan will be this year’s ASU Behavioral Health Services Awardee, Dr. Teresa Bertsch. Dr. Bertsch has been the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA) since 1992 while concomitantly providing direct patient care, at a local mental health agency and more recently a Federally-qualified health center (FQHC).
The 2015 ASU Behavioral Health Cultural Heritage Award recognizes Mr. Derek Patton, who currently serves as the Acting Division Director for Integrated Behavioral Health for the Phoenix area Indian Health Service (IHS). Mr. Patton is a member of the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma. In his capacity, Mr. Patton is responsible for overseeing all urban- and reservation-based behavioral health programs administered through the Phoenix area office of IHS, encompassing ten service units, two youth regional treatment centers and a network of health care facilities spread across the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah and over forty tribes.
Rounding out this year’s Behavioral Health Award recipients is Mr. Neal Cash who will be presented with the ASU Behavioral Health Legacy Award. Mr. Cash has more than 35 years of service in the behavioral health care system of southern Arizona, beginning as a rehabilitation counselor, after attending graduate school at the University of Arizona, before becoming CEO of CODAC Behavioral health Services and then Community Partnership of Southern Arizona.