CHA’s Center for Behavioral Health's Šimanek Distinguished Service Award recognizes leadership that promotes vision and excellence in behavioral health care services; outstanding contributions to hospitals and health care services in either in- or outpatient behavioral health settings; and special achievements as demonstrated by a successful project, program or action.
CHA’s Center for Behavioral Health’s Šimanek Distinguished Service Award recognizes leadership that promotes vision and excellence in behavioral health care services; outstanding contributions to hospitals and health care services in either in- or outpatient behavioral health settings; and special achievements as demonstrated by a successful project, program or action.
Nominations for this annual award are always being accepted. Nominees must be affiliated with a CHA member hospital, and may include CEOs/administrators, hospital employees, medical staff, hospital board members, volunteers and active community members. To nominate an individual, please download the attached nomination form. Submission instructions are located at the bottom of the form. The award is given during CBH’s annual symposium.
The award was first presented to Joe Šimanek in 2007. Mr. Šimanek was an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Regents of the University of California, and also served on CHA’s board of advisors for the Center for Behavioral Health. Joe taught for CHA annually from 2002 – 2007, doing 39 different seminars on ten different programs, including Mental Health Law, HIPAA Privacy, Minors and Health Care Law, Consent Law, EMTALA, and the very successful 5150 Process seminars, teaching nearly 5000 people.
Mr. Šimanek contributed to four CHA publications: manuals on Mental Health Law, Patient Privacy and Consent Law, as well as the 5150 Process Workbook. In addition, he did extensive work on state public policy related to medical and mental health confidentiality laws and the treatment of mental health patients.
The 2008 recipient of the Šimanek Distinguished Service Award was Diane Stewart, who then served as Chief Administrative Officer of Sutter Center for Psychiatry in Sacramento. Ms. Stewart has served on the Center for Behavioral Health since 2000, including Executive Committee positions such as Nominating Chair and AHA Representative, which she continues to hold, today. She has been a member of the American Hospital Association’s Governing Council for Behavioral Health since 2006. She also served as President and CEO of Sutter Health Pacific, where she was responsible for the Board activities and oversight of Kahi Mohala Psychiatric Services, an 88-bed freestanding psychiatric hospital on Oahu, Hawaii. She was also Chief Administrative Officer of Sutter Health’s Continuing Care Services, which include Sutter Oaks Midtown, a 100-bed skilled nursing facility, and a PACE Program covering senior care for 200 seniors in community placement, and has served on the Board of WIND Youth Services since 1999.
In 2009, the recipient of the Šimanek Distinguished Service Award was Dr. Robert E. Hales, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Dr. Hales is a renowned adult psychiatrist specializing in neuropsychiatry, clinical psychopharmacology and mental health services research. He is the author or editor of 36 books and has appeared annually in The Best Doctors in America since 1992. Dr. Hales advises the Sacramento County Department of Health and the U.C. Davis Behavioral Health Center. He has investigated new treatments for depression, pharmaceutical controls of dementia-associated agitation, clinical algorithms for managing anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury. He is co-founder and deputy editor of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Editor-in-Chief of American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., and has received numerous professional honors and military accolades.
In 2010, the Šimanek Distinguished Service Award was presented to May Farr. Among May’s many accomplishments, she co-founded the Inland Valley’s first NAMI chapter and served as its first President, was appointed to the San Bernardino Mental Health Commission, helped initiate the Mental Health Court of San Bernardino County, and helped initiate the Criminal Justice Mental Health Consensus Committee. She sits on the Board of Directors for Pacific Clinics and the Northridge Hospital Community Board. She was also actively involved in organizing support for Prop. 63, the Mental Health Services Act, and has been an integral part of the planning process that have followed since its passage.
In 2011, the Award went to Helen MacLeod Thomson. Ms. Thomson is best known for her years in the California State Assembly, from 1996 to 2002. Among her many accomplishments was the passing of AB 88, which required health insurance companies to provide coverage for severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder just as they provide coverage for physical infirmities. Ms. Thomson was also the champion of the bill that came to be known as “Laura’s Law,” which allows counties to require individuals with severe mental illness to participate in mandated outpatient treatment programs. After her terms in the Assembly, she served on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors until retiring in 2010. She was the recipient of the first-ever Excellence in Leadership Award from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. And in 2011, she was appointed to the Sacramento Sierra Region Board of Directors for Sutter Health.
The 2012 Award went to M. Steven Lipton, an attorney and partner in the San Francisco law office of Hooper, Lundy and Bookman, PC. Mr. Lipton is recognized as a national expert on EMTALA and patient anti-dumping laws. In his practice, he has worked extensively with hospitals on EMTALA civil sanction matters and on compliance interpretation, policy development and education. His practice also includes corporate governance, licensing, fraud and abuse, and PACE organizations. Mr. Lipton is a frequent health care presenter and is the author of CHA’s manual, EMTALA — A Guide to Patient Anti-Dumping Laws. Additionally, he has been named as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” by Chambers USA in Healthcare:Regulatory & Litigation (National) and Healthcare Law (California). He was named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in Health Care Law by Woodward/White, “Lawyer of the Year” for 2010 (Health Care Law) and was selected to “Northern California Super Lawyers” in Health Care Law, Law & Politics.
In 2013, the Award was presented to Scott Zeller, MD, chief of psychiatric emergency services for the Alameda Health System, one of the busiest emergency psychiatric programs in the U.S. Dr. Zeller has served as president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry and is the author of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. He is also co-editor of “Emergency Psychiatry: Principles and Practice” (Lippincott, 2008), which is considered to be the first comprehensive textbook on emergency psychiatry. Dr. Zeller founded and directed Project BETA, a multi-center effort that published best practice guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of agitation in 2012. In 2009, he was named Alameda County Outstanding Physician of the Year, and in 2012, won the San Francisco Business Times‘ “Heroes of Healthcare” award.