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Outstanding Service Awards 2011

Outstanding Service Awards 2011

MACMH is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Service Awards.

The Award Recipients are:

  • Sharon Berry
  • Sara Carlson
  • Peg Hayes
  • Kris Lofgren
  • Sarah Walker

Each year MACMH recognizes individuals who have shown extraordinary achievement and/or leadership in the field of children’s mental health. The Outstanding Service Award is open to Mental Health Professionals, Educators, Social Workers, Physicians, Juvenile Justice Professionals, Administrators, Parents, Youth, or other Public Servants. The award recipients will be celebrated at MACMH’s Fine Art and Award Celebration event to be held February 10th at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN. More information about the awards celebration can be found here. This year the MACMH Board of Directors selected the following individuals for Outstanding Service Awards. Recipient information presented below was taken from award nominations.


Sharon Berry, a clinical psychologist specializing in child and pediatric services for more than 20 years, has provided extraordinary leadership and contributions to the field of children’s mental health. Her current work is with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (Children’s), providing direct psychological services to children, adolescents, and their families. Sharon has served as the Director of Training for Children’s psychology internship, a well-respected program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Sharon provides exemplary advocacy for the field of Psychology and related mental health disciplines at both state and national levels. Sharon remains highly accessible and responsive while supervising other psychologists and trainees and also maintains a busy clinical practice. Sharon serves as a mentor to countless students and early career professionals across the country interested in child mental health issues. She developed a mentoring project for undergraduates from diverse and multicultural backgrounds in order to build an infrastructure for nurturing diversity in Psychology and setting the stage for increasing the diversity of students participating in the Minnesota internships accredited by the APA.

Click here learn more about Sharon Berry’s achievements and contributions.


Sara Carlson has a long career of successfully advocating for young children and their families, particularly in the area of mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention at a systems level in Greater Minnesota. Sara served as the founding Chair of the MACMH-IEC Advisory Board, from its inception in 2007 until fall of 2011. During her leadership of MACMH-IEC Sara volunteered countless hours leading both staff and members with vision, enthusiasm, organization, creative problem-solving and, most importantly, with persistence and passion. A colleague stated, “She was an important source of support and guidance and hope, and she never seemed to tire in her support of MACMH-IEC.” Sara used her strong leadership skills and deep understanding of young children’s mental health needs to raise awareness and promote an interdisciplinary, collaborative organization which represents the interests of a range of communities across our state.

Click here learn more about Sara Carlson’s achievements and contributions.


Peg Hayes, the Director for Wilder’s Children’s Mental Health Services has provided leadership for the Child Guidance Clinic since 2002 and has worked at Wilder as a mental health professional for over 30 years. Nearly all of the children who are clients in the clinic live in poverty, struggle to cope with family conflict, and have caregivers who also have mental health needs. As a mental health professional, Peg has been dedicated to addressing the wide-ranging needs of these children and families. As the Clinical Services Director she leads an interdisciplinary team that provides an array of services including: psychological assessment; medication management; individual, family and group therapies; family support and skills building; and others. Peg tirelessly champions new efforts to serve low income and vulnerable children who need mental health services.

Click here learn more about Peg Hayes’ achievements and contributions.


Kris Lofgren has passionately served children and families in Northern Minnesota for nearly 20 years. She has tirelessly worked in collaboration with other agencies to bring services to children and families in methods that would better meet their needs. Kris is employed at the Range Mental Health Center (RMHC) , located in Virginia, Minnesota, as the Director of School and Community Based Children’s Mental Health Services. She has overseen opportunities within agencies requesting information and training in the area of children’s mental health. She is a regular presenter at meetings of area Superintendents and at local School Board meetings. Her own expertise is apparent—from working on policy at the government level, to answering a staff questions during a hectic day. Kris has also been consistently involved in community events that focus on bringing awareness to the mental health needs of children and their families.

Click here for to learn more about Kris Lofgren’s achievements and contributions.


Sarah Walker has demonstrated outstanding leadership, commitment, and compassion in her work with youth in the juvenile justice system. She has increased access to services for Juveniles involved in the system and those at risk of involvement. Sarah has helped improve the quality of services; successfully advocated for policy reforms that increase access to opportunity; and has strengthened both the provider community and the system as a whole through her tireless advocacy. Sarah has achieved these works through direct service, grassroots advocacy, education, and community outreach. Sarah’s colleagues state that, “without question there is no one individual who has galvanized as much support for too-often-marginalized issues like juvenile justice reform.” In 2007 Sarah helped organize the first ever Second Chance Day on the Hill to make visible the invisible and crippling stigma attached to someone involved with the juvenile or adult justice system. Since that time Sarah has moved the Second Chance Coalition from a small group of direct service providers to a state-wide coalition of over 65 agencies—organizations ranging from religious coalitions to mental health providers.

Click here learn more about Sarah Walker’s achievements and contributions.


Criteria for Awards

More about the Awards Celebration

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