EASTON — Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. held its 21st Annual Caliber Awards celebration on May 17 at the Milestone in Easton. The event honors the work of local organizations and individuals for their contributions to the public behavioral health system in the Mid-Shore region.

About 15 providers, law enforcement agencies, community agencies, and other individuals were honored at the event.

Special Recognition Awards were given to Rachel Goss, Pamela Boyce and the late Carrie Harper. Brandy James and Carol Masden of Affiliated Sante recognized Crisis Intervention Team officers and agencies.

The Community Awards category, developed last year, awarded those nominated by the various MSBH workgroups. The Forensic Workgroup Community Award recipient was Julia Jerscheid. The Child and Adolescent Community Award was presented to Amanda Ensor. The Mid Shore Roundtable on Homelessness Community Award was presented to Deborah Vornbrock and the staff at St. Martin’s Ministries. The recipient of the Aging with Behavioral Health and Disabilities Workgroup Community Award was Stacy Ewing.

Legislative representatives attended and presented citations to each of the achievement award winners. Legislators included State Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore; Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot; and Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s. Citations were also sent on behalf of Congressman Andy Harris. Representatives from local county governments, as well as the Maryland Department of Health — Behavioral Health Administration attended.

Achieving Excellence through Effective Programming was awarded to Lynn Gurley, Clinical Coordinator of the Eastern Shore Operations Center. Under Gurley’s management, the ESOC call center has handled more than four times the amount of crisis calls since fiscal year 2013.

Achieving Excellence through the Empowerment of Consumers was awarded to Augustine Cook of Maryland Coalition of Families. As a training coordinator, Cook trains and coaches Maryland Coalition of Families’ statewide Family Peer Support workforce.

Two Achieving Excellence through Interagency and Community Collaboration awards were presented. The first was presented to the Latasha Nichols, Problem Solving Court Coordinator of the District Court for Dorchester County Regional Veterans Treatment Program. With her guidance the very first Regional Veterans Treatment Court in the state of Maryland began in Dorchester County. The second was presented to the Cambridge Police Department. This department has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty for individuals with behavioral health needs in the community.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Valerie Albee, who created the Mariah’s Mission Fund after the death of her daughter Mariah from a heroin addiction. Her community outreach and dedication was the springboard for many opioid awareness initiatives and programs within the region.

A new award category was developed this year to commemorate the late Mary Beth Brennaman, Behavioral Health Coordinator of Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc., who brought compassion, generosity, humor and dedication to her workplace. Jenny Jarrell of For All Seasons, Inc., was nominated by multiple coworkers and embodies many of the attributes and characteristics of Brennaman.

Kathryn G. Dilley, LCSW-C, Executive Director for MSBH, and Roger Harrell, MSBH Board of Directors’ Vice President, began the event with a welcome message. Laura Pollard, Marketing and Events Specialist for MSBH, introduced guest speaker Laura Dreany-Pyles, Program Manager at Deaf Addiction Services at Maryland (DASAM), who discussed the behavioral health needs of the deaf and hard of hearing population.

The event brought out 115 local consumers, providers, and community members. Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. is the Core Service Agency for the Mid-Shore counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties.

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