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We are pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Outstanding Service Award, as well as the recipient of our first-ever Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health Lifetime Achievement Award. The recipients will be celebrated at our annual Silent Auction & Awards Gala on Friday, November 1 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America.
Explore the bios below to learn about this year’s award recipients.
2019 Outstanding Service Award Recipients
The following individuals are being recognized for their extraordinary achievement and/or leadership in the field of children’s mental health.
Rebekah Hudock, PhD, LP, NCSP
Pediatric Neuropsychologist & Assistant Professor – Autism & Neurodevelopment Clinic, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Dr. Rebekah Hudock’s leadership and vision have made a lasting impact on children with autism spectrum disorder and their families in Minnesota. In her role as a pediatric neuropsychologist at the Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic, Dr. Hudock initiated a series of treatment groups for youth with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities which focus on building social skills and relationships, improving emotional regulation, and preparing families for their adolescent’s transition into adulthood. Since joining the clinic as faculty in 2014, the clinic’s treatment services have grown tremendously and now has a waiting list for interested families. Dr. Hudock is also a fierce advocate for children and families, empowering them to have a voice in systems where they are frequently powerless by helping them navigate the complex school-based special education system, as well as community-based supports. Further she is committed to sharing her knowledge to advance the capacity of the field. In partnership with the University of Minnesota, she established a process to provide ongoing, supervised practicum and internship experiences to pre-service mental health professionals. Dr. Hudock’s expertise, long history of relationship-building and keen focus on identifying the unmet needs of young people have made her a tireless change agent in the field of children’s mental health.
Katherine Lingras, PhD, LP
Child Psychologist & Faculty Member – University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
A passionate advocate for young children with mental health needs, Dr. Katherine Lingras uses her voice, expertise and position to empower. As a faculty member with the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Lingras started the first service program for young children, birth to 5. Since then, colleagues have sought her out for her knowledge in infant and early childhood mental health. With a particular focus on those whose voices have not historically been heard, she also started the department’s first Diversity and Inclusion Committee, advocating not only for equity and inclusion within the department, but also with the patient populations as well. In all of her work, she considers barriers to accessibility and potential impact of biases in our systems to better meet the needs of children and families. Further, her work in community-based settings such as preschool programs and primary care clinics has provided an innovative mechanism for deepening the services available to low-income, at-risk young children. Dr. Lingras’ perspectives have been an invaluable resource across programs at the University and her impact continues to be felt in communities across Minnesota.
Doug Pelcak, MA, LSC
Professional Development & School Counseling Service Center Coordinator – Adler Graduate School
For 33 years, Doug Pelcak served as an elementary school counselor in Hopkins School District. Early in his career there, Doug forged a relationship with the Park Nicolett Department of Psychiatry to implement a new program to identify and treat students with mental health challenges. Additionally, he partnered with an acclaimed psychiatrist to improve mental health screenings and interventions, including the creation of a first-of-its kind approach to assess ADHD in schools. When Doug transitioned to a faculty position at Adler Graduate School of Counseling, he continued his service by developing coursework to prepare licensed school counselors for their future work with students and families. He was pivotal in expanding the school’s Service Center, creating a school counselor internship and placement program, which has led to numerous interns being hired full-time by schools throughout Minnesota, including eight public charter schools which had never had counseling programs before. In addition, Doug was instrumental in implementing the Teacher Sponsor Program designed to support and sustain promising young teachers through their first years on the job when attrition is at its highest. At every juncture of his career, Doug has kept student mental health at the forefront of his work, making lasting contributions to school cultures and communities.
2019 Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health Lifetime Achievement Award
For the first year, our Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes someone whose legacy of leadership has not only made lasting contributions throughout the field of children’s mental health, but has also been integral in shaping the vision and work of the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health as a longstanding partner of our organization.
Michele Fallon, LICSW, IMH-E(R)
Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant
A tireless champion for the field of Infant Mental Health (IMH), Michele Fallon has played an integral part in the advancement of IMH practices throughout Minnesota. In partnership with the Greater Mpls Crisis Nursery, Michele developed the Nursery Way curriculum, which centered on IMH principles to support the staff in serving children and families impacted by trauma. She teaches in the Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Program at the University of Minnesota and has been part of the team that developed the Faculty Symposium on embedding infant and early childhood principles into existing curricula across disciplines. She has developed several trainings for the Department of Human Services on caring for infants and toddlers in foster care, working with adolescent parents, and relationship-based home visiting. Additionally, she has been instrumental in embedding reflective consultation practices into schools, early intervention programs, and early care and education. Beyond her work in Minnesota, Michele has forged partnerships in other states, including Connecticut, where she co-developed an ongoing training about trauma and IMH as part of a collaboration between Head Start and Child Protection Services. All of this, in addition to her role as a board member with the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH), and co-chair of MACMH’s Infant & Early Childhood Division Advisory Board, have made her an invaluable asset to the field of work promoting positive mental health for young children and their families.
Past Award Recipients