MHA Receives Providers’ Council Peer Provider Award

SPRINGFIELD — The Provider’s Council, an association of community-based human-services agencies in Massachusetts with more than 220 members, annually recognizes extraordinary accomplishments of member agencies through its Peer Provider Awards. Agencies must be nominated for the award by another Providers’ Council member.

For 2020, MHA received a Peer Provider Award recognizing innovation in programming and services, including the GRIT residential rehabilitation program, TeleWell telemedicine service delivery, and the BeHealthy Partnership to address mental health and homelessness concurrently. Ruth Banta, executive director of Pathlight, a Springfield-based nonprofit that partners with people with disabilities, nominated MHA for the Peer Provider Award.

“We are thrilled that the Mental Health Association has been recognized by a peer organization for a prestigious Providers’ Council Peer Provider Award for 2020,” said Michael Weekes, president and CEO of the Providers’ Council. “MHA plays a crucial role in providing critical services to residents in Western Massachusetts. MHA’s BeHealthy Partnership initiative has been pivotal in improving outcomes for numerous clients who are experiencing homelessness throughout the region. MHA’s commitment to excellence has earned them the respect and admiration of many in the human-services community, and the Providers’ Council is honored to bestow this award.”

Cheryl Fasano, president and CEO of MHA, noted that “it’s an extraordinary testament to MHA’s work when a peer provider, and the leaders of a 220-member organization of providers, all recognize the growth, impact, and influence of our work. We are proud of our ability to continue identifying community needs and responding with the development of new programming, even in the current environment. This award is for the people of MHA who identify areas of need, who innovate by creating new programs and services, and who provide direct care to the people we serve every hour of every day.”

Added Banta, “I think it is important to consider that MHA is a 60-plus-year-old organization that built its widely respected reputation for respect, integrity, and compassion in the area of residential programming for people with developmental disabilities. While that focus indeed continues, it is significant that MHA has the vision, people, and capabilities to diversify its portfolio of programming by developing new ways to serve, including GRIT residences, TeleWell service, and the Home Healthy program. Rather than rest on its laurels, MHA instead chooses to create innovative ways to serve vulnerable populations. MHA continues to break new ground. We at Pathlight value our collaborations with MHA.”