The 25th Annual Caliber Awards was hosted by Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. (MSBH) on May 19, 2023 at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville. This annual event honors the exceptional work and dedication of dozens of community leaders working to enhance the mid-shore region’s behavioral health system.
Approximately 90 people attended the 2023 Caliber Awards Ceremony. The event opened with a welcome from MSBH’s Executive Director, Kathryn Dilley, LCSW-C, followed by Board President, Susan Johnson, RN, MPH, offering a welcome to the group and acknowledgement of the Board. Following opening remarks, 33 local leaders were honored for their unwavering commitment to enhancing behavioral health services for the community’s benefit.
First to be honored was Emily Moody, Associate Clinical Director with For All Seasons, Inc., with the Child and Adolescent Award. The Forensic Mental Health Award was presented to Brandy James, CIT Coordinator Manager with the Eastern Shore Crisis Responses Services and Affiliated Santé Group. The Roundtable on Homelessness Award was given to Henry Sabetti, Rector for Shrewsbury Parish. While unable to attend, the award was accepted on his behalf by a member of The Kent County Coalition on Homelessness in which Mr. Sabetti helped found. The Adult and Older Adult Advocacy Award was then presented to Shane Walker, Residential Programs Manager at the Salvation Army.
The recipients for the Special Recognition category were Chesapeake Center’s Medical Director, Molly Fischer, and Empower Being LLC Founder, Tanae Lawal. Responsible Fathers Initiative’s Founder and Lead Facilitator, Corey W. Pack received a Special Recognition Award for his advocacy work with teen fathers. Additional Special Recognition Awards honored LaShawnda Leslie Butler, mental health therapist at Community Behavioral Health; Lisa May, The Visiting Counselor; Joe Sabasteanski, Transition Facilitator with Crossroads Community, Inc.; Stirling Ward, Mental Health Coordinator for Queen Anne’s County Public Schools; and Kathy Bosin, Grant Writer at For All Seasons, Inc. for their work bettering the mid-shore region’s behavioral health and wellbeing.
Several law enforcement professionals received recognition at the 25th Annual Caliber Awards. Brandy James, of Affiliated Santé Group, honored the work of Justin Todd, Christopher McMullen, Anthony Reyes, Ron Dixon, and Dominic Sullivan for their participation in the region’s Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). CIT is a unique training program that teaches officers how to respond to mental health emergency calls in the most effective way possible.
Julie Lowe, Executive Director of Talbot Interfaith Shelters, received the Achieving Excellence through Effective Programming Award for her work towards ending homelessness in the five-county region. Elizabeth Strzempka, Care Coordinator at Wraparound Maryland, received an Achieving Excellence through Consumer Empowerment Award for her dedicated work providing resources to families that extends far beyond behavioral health resources. James Carter, Peer Support Specialist with Chesapeake Voyagers, Inc. also received an Achieving Excellence through Consumer Empowerment Award for his work helping members of the community with mental health and substance use concerns. TheAchieving Excellence through Interagency and Community Collaboration Award was presented to Nancy Andrew, Executive Director of Talbot Family Network for her dedication to improving the dialogue on racial equity. Shyam Bhayani, Chief Administrator for Community Behavioral Health, Inc, earned the Mary Beth Brennaman Award for his passion and commitment to providing comprehensive mental health care to those who need it most, while fostering a positive attitude throughout his organization.
The ceremony ended with Addie Eckardt, former Maryland State Senator representing District 37 and current Director of Nursing at Eastern Shore Hospital Center, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Eckardt was recognized for 25 years of dedication to public service and lifelong commitment advocating for behavioral health needs on the Eastern Shore and in Maryland.
Executive Director Dilley shared the community’s excitement for the event, “This year marked the 25th Anniversary of the Caliber Awards. The opportunity to gather and celebrate the community partners and leadership in the mid-shore community was an honor. The opportunity to celebrate Addie for the Lifetime Achievement Award was a special highlight of the event this year. I am grateful for the team at MSBH for the great work and bringing the event together- it was a huge success.” During MSBH’s staff appreciation day last year several employees volunteered at the Chesapeake Environmental Center. Having fallen in love with the natural views, the team was thrilled to return to host the awards ceremony. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were provided by Chesapeake Culinary Center.
Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. (MSBH) is the region’s Core Service Agency charged with continually improving the provision of behavioral health services for residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties through effective coordination of care in collaboration with consumers, their natural support systems, providers, and the community at large. For more pictures from the event, please “like” MSBH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For more information about MSBH, visit www.midshorebehavioralhealth.org.