Annual Award Gala
Outstanding Service Award Winners
19th Annual Outstanding Service Awards
MACMH recognized 3 individuals who have had a significant, positive influence on the lives of children with mental health needs.
The Outstanding Service Award is open to Educators, Social Workers, Physicians, Juvenile Justice Professionals, Administrators, Parents, Youth or other Public Servants who have shown extraordinary achievement and/or leadership in the field of children’s mental health. The award recipients were celebrated at MACMH’s Evening of Heart, Silent Auction and Award Gala on Friday, November 6th at the Mendakota Country Club of Mendota Heights, MN.
The Outstanding Service Award recognizes an individual who has met most of the following criteria:
- Contributed to the body of knowledge of children’s mental health
- Demonstrated compassion for children with mental health disorders and their families
- Promoted collaboration and service integration for youth with mental health problems
- Engaged in efforts that raise awareness about children’s mental health
- Advocated on behalf of children with mental health needs
- Developed and/or implemented innovative, successful methods of collaborating with those involved in the life of a child with mental health disorders
- Provided a lasting contribution to the children’s mental health field
- Educated, trained, motivated, and/or mentored peers regarding child and adolescent mental health
The 2015 Outstanding Service Award Recipients are:
Katy Armendariz, MSW, LICSW
Katy Armendariz is the co-founder and Clinical Director at Minnesota CarePartner (MNCP)—an agency that provides psychotherapy, transitional support and other mental health services in the homes of families who cannot get to the clinic due to physical, financial or transportation barriers. Passionate about helping low-income and marginalized communities learn how to better advocate for themselves and lead more fulfilling lives, Armendariz’s commitment to the field of mental health began at a young age. As an international adoptee and former foster child herself, Armendariz developed a close connection with the child welfare system, which sparked her passion for pursuing a career involved in reducing disparities within the system. Since MNCP was founded in 2013, the agency has grown from a team of two part-time therapists to a team of six therapists and is now certified by the Department of Human Services to provide Children’s Therapeutic Services and Supports (CTSS). In addition to her work with MNCP, Armendariz partners with the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work to provide training to the next generation of social workers and mental health practitioners.
Anne Gearity, PhD, LICSW
A tireless advocate for the healthy development of Minnesota’s youngest children and their families, Dr. Anne Gearity has devoted more than four decades to this work, including 18 years with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education & Development (CEED), where she currently serves as a community faculty member. In addition to her work with CEED, she also serves on the faculty of the university’s School of Social Work and Department of Child Psychiatry. A reflection of her commitment to the field of mental health, Dr. Gearity partnered with the U of M to implement the Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) certificate program—an intensive training program designed to help professionals and students build the skills necessary to support the healthy social-emotional development of children ages birth to five. Dr. Gearity also created Developmental Repair, an innovative day treatment model at Washburn Center for Children that has provided a research-based theory of the challenges faced by young children who have experienced trauma. A gifted, engaging and articulate teacher—her compassionate approach to treatment has dramatically influenced how children are both viewed in educational systems and how they are assessed and treated in mental health settings.
Mary Regan, MSW, LICSW
Mary Regan has served as the Executive Director of Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies (MCCA) for more than 20 years. An experienced advocate and dedicated presence at the state Capitol, Regan has championed children’s mental health policy for Minnesota providers and the clients they serve. Committed to keeping the needs of children and their families at the forefront of her work, Regan has focused her career on advocacy efforts for children with mental illnesses, those in the juvenile justice and child protection systems and youth who are homeless. She is president of the National Organization of State Associations for Children, co-chair of Youth Moving Forward and co-convener of the Child Well Being Network. She has also served on numerous task forces related to children’s mental health and has led the Children’s Mental Health Network for several years. An accomplished leader in the arena of children’s mental health and welfare advocacy, Regan has worked to positively influence children’s lives on individual, local, statewide and national levels.