Gala Recognizes Local Individuals Who Offer Hope to Childen with Mental Illness

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

CINCINNATI -- At 6 pm, on Thursday, March 9, leaders from the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and many Tri-state community agencies will honor those who continue to work toward improving mental health.

Three awards will also be presented.

The Community Activist Award was created to recognize individuals who have made a significant and positive impact in the area of child and adolescent mental health by improving mental health services and / or programs through collaboration in our community. This year's Community Activist Award will go to Christine Hacker, RN, CNS, of Fairfield.

Hacker has been employed for 23 years as a clinical nurse specialist in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children's and also serves as a liaison for psychiatric needs of adolescents at Hamilton County Youth Center (formerly 20/20 Juvenile Detention Center). In 1983, Hacker helped to open the first eight bed unit for children and adolescents with psychiatric needs. Formerly, these patients stayed on a number of medical units not equipped for their special needs. After Millcreek, UC and Jewish Hospital closed their psychiatric units, Hacker helped to open two more units at Cincinnati Children's, a partial hospitalization program and the College Hill Campus. In addition to her roles at Cincinnati Children's, she has served on the Butler County Mental Health Board.

The Outstanding Family Achievement Award will be presented to a family that has provided strength, dedication, consistency, and support to their children's mental health needs. This year's local family winner of the Outstanding Family Achievement Award is the Mattson family of College Hill.

According to the nomination, "Pam Mattson believes that all children and adolescents deserve appropriate treatment and services to support their recovery from mental illness and provide them with the best quality of life that is possible to achieve." Mattson has been collaborating with the Hamilton County Community Mental Health Board, Ohio Department of Mental Health, the Junior League of Cincinnati's MindPeace initiative and Cincinnati Children's in numerous ways over the past six years, including as leader of a parent support group. Mattson has been supporting children in school through her role at IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings. She's also become a local teacher by renewing interest in NAMI-Hamilton County's Hand-to-Hand Education Program, a nine week program that educates and empowers parents regarding children's mental health. Mattson was appointed by Governor Robert Taft as a member of the state Psychology Board, which is involved in the investigation of misconduct among mental health professionals. In addition to her role in mental healthcare across Ohio, Mattson's son Peter speaks in Columbus for mental health parity.

New to the awards this year is the Krug Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is in honor of Othilda "Tillie" Krug, MD, who wrote the first textbook on training child psychiatrists. In addition to helping start the Child Boards, she trained 144 child psychiatrists throughout her life. Dr. Krug personally funded the first endowed professorship in child psychiatry at Cincinnati Children's. She also donated most of the start-up cost and endowed a training program in child psychoanalysis at the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Dr. Krug and her faculty had built one of the best and biggest child psychiatry training programs in the country at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Another pioneer in the child mental health field in Cincinnati and this year's winner of the Krug Lifetime Achievement Award is Maria Krocker, MD, a psychiatrist for Central Clinic.

Dr. Krocker is known as one of the founding mothers of child psychiatry. She helped to institute the Child Guidance Movement in the 1950's and 60's, a movement in America set up to help juvenile delinquents and reduce delinquency with good childrearing and treatment. The Child Guidance Movement's model for child guidance clinics became the model for outpatient mental health clinics for all populations throughout the United States. The concept of a mental health treatment team, consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, is now embedded in the delivery of mental health services in this country. Perhaps even more fundamental has been the linkage that has developed in the American mind between troublesome behavior and emotional disturbance.

Dr. Krocker also helped to establish the children's psychiatric center at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and continues her work at UC. She has trained countless physicians including supervisors of the majority of child and adolescent psychiatrists, social workers and therapists in the Cincinnati area.

The fifth annual gala will be held at the Clovernook Country Club, located at 2035 West Galbraith Road.

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Amy Caruso, 513-636-5637, amy.caruso@cchmc.org