For over twenty years, ASU has recognized the top contributors to Arizona’s behavioral health community. 

The Arizona Behavioral Health Awards have been given to individuals and agencies throughout the state for their significant contributions to the improvement, access, and impact of behavioral health care. The individuals and organizations selected reflect the highest quality standards in the delivery of behavioral health services to the citizens of Arizona.  

Award recipients will be honored at the Summer Institute Behavioral Health Awards Gala on July 14th in Flagstaff, Arizona. The Gala is free to attend for Summer Institute registrants with RSVP, or a "Gala Only" ticket may be purchased for $99.

A "Red Carpet" reception will take place in the hall of the High Country Conference Center from 4:30-5:30pm; followed by a plated dinner and the awards ceremony. Music and celebration until 8:00pm

View the Gala Menu


Please help us in congratulating the recipients of the 2022 awards!

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
Legacy Award

The Legacy Award recognizes the career of a behavioral health leader.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore founded the Selah Carefarm, a restorative community for traumatic grief, where people from around the world come to find support and respite in nature and with some of the forty plus rescued animals that reside on the farm. She also founded the international NGO, The Miss Foundation, in 1996 and has volunteered for the organizations since.

Joanne is also the author of the award-winning book, Bearing the Unbearable: Love, loss, and the heartbreaking path of grief. Joanne is very generous with her knowledge and expertise. She often provides cost-free training to non-profit groups on grief and trauma.


Dr. Bob Bohanske
Legacy Award

This year, we are also awarding a Legacy Award to posthumously recognize the life and career of a behavioral health leader.

Dr. Bob Bohanske, better known as “Dr. Bob,” served for 25 years as Chief of Clinical Services/Clinical Training at Southwest Behavioral & Health Services.

Throughout those 25 years, Dr. Bob was instrumental in evoking system change throughout Arizona, he was focused on quality over quantity, and he truly cared about our staff and clients. He served at the forefront of his profession, advocating for and with others on the important issues impacting the field of psychology.

Dr. Bob’s commitment to ensure voice and choice to members served was evident in every facet of his work. He touched the hearts of so many professionals working throughout the behavioral health system not only in Arizona but across the world. His legacy will be carried forward as we continue to raise the bar in providing quality services to all people.

Jamie Valderrama
Leadership in Services

The Leadership in Services Award recognizes an individual who has excelled in the provision of behavioral health services 

Jamie Valderrama is passionate about providing tools for responsive living via mindful practices and uses her extensive background in education to successfully integrate that knowledge within her courses. 

Additionally, Jamie conducts keynotes and workshops nationally and internationally on the personal and professional benefits of mindfulness. She is a leader in preparing behavioral health providers with the necessary skills for ethical and professional practice and we congratulate her for her outstanding efforts and accomplishments. 

MacArthur E. Lucio
Cultural Heritage

The Cultural Heritage Award recognizes an individual or agency that has brought cultural distinction to the behavioral health field.

LCDR MacArthur Lucio has provided emergency response services as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Phoenix Area Indian Health Service, and has brought the highest levels of service to boarding schools, local schools, local Child Protection teams, and more. His guidance and persistence on site visits, ongoing calls and meetings, and more importantly direct engagement in the enforcement of codes and laws ensure the protection of Native children across the Southwest.

He currently serves as the Social Work Consultant at the I.H.S Phoenix Area Office- Integrated Behavioral Health Program. He earned his MSW degree from the University of Utah and started his social work career with Indian Health Services at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, NM. Subsequently, commissioned as a US Public Health Service officer in 2008 and served in various capacities as an administrator and as a licensed clinical social worker. He has been employed by IHS for nearly 20 years, with five years at the Phoenix Area Office within the Integrated Behavioral Health Department. He serves as the Phoenix Area Child Protection team chair and in collaboration with BIA support local tribal social service programs.

LCDR Lucio serves as a voting member of the American Indian/Alaska Native Commissioned Officers Advisory Committee (ANIANCOC) which provides advice and consultation to the Surgeon General on issues related to professional practice of Commissioned Corps Officers. He is a registered member of the Navajo Nation and is Zuni Pueblo.

Brandie Reiner
Leadership in Advocacy 

The Leadership in Advocacy Award recognizes an individual who has championed policies that enhance behavioral health services in Arizona.

Brandie Reiner is the Executive Director of NASW AZ Chapter. Ms, Reiner has championed policies that enhance behavioral services in Arizona as demonstrated by providing testimony in AZ House Committee against SB 1138 Prohibition of gender transition for minors. Ms. Reiner has also provided guidance and statements on several other policy issues relating to mental health, access to care, supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals and access to voting. 

Ms. Reiner partners with the School Social Workers of Arizona (SSWAAZ) on advocacy efforts related to school social workers and the AZ Department of Education, successfully blocked SB 1189, a bill that only included funding for school counselors, excluding
social workers.  

She continues to work with national and state legislators on issues related to workplace safety, immigration, police reform, tele-health services, and behavioral health licensure for title protection. Her leadership in advocacy efforts promoting fair, equitable and inclusive behavioral health services for Arizonans
is exemplary.

Suzanne Legander
Peer Leadership

Suzanne is an amazing advocate and innovative leader who has working on our behavioral health system for more than 20 years in multiple roles.

She currently is the CEO of S.T.A.R. (Stand Together and Recover Centers) and transformed the services at this PRO by expanding to multiple locations, integrating primary care services, counseling, created a hospital discharge program (that has amazing outcomes and is saving lives) and so much more.

Suzanne ensures that S.T.A.R.'s services and programs address the needs of the whole person health including behavioral and physical health, substance use, employment, social connections, and many other social determinants of health.

Suzanne uses her personal and professional experiences and expertise to reduce stigma and improve the lives of individuals with mental health and substance use challenges so they can reach their full potential.

Senator Rebecca Rios
Legislative Leadership

The Legislative Leadership award recognizes an elected official who has helped strengthen allocation for behavioral health services.

Since 1995 Senator Rios has been advocating for the best interests of all Arizonans through her roles in the Arizona House of Representatives and the State Senate, where she has held positions as the Minority Leader and Minority Whip in both.

As a Social Worker, and someone who comes from a family tradition of service and servant leadership, Senator Rios has maintained an open-door policy, welcoming feedback, and ideas from everyone, not just those who reside in her district.

She has been a champion for both Child Welfare and Behavioral Health initiatives and her ability maintain strong relationships with constituents and colleagues has been key to her success as a public figure.

This year, we'll also honor the 2020 recipients and throw them the gala they never got!

Each one of the 2020 recipients of the Arizona Behavioral Health Awards brings more than their insight, expertise and knowledge from their field to their position; they offer their own special wisdom, compassion, and understanding about humanity and others’ needs to the table making their vocation more than “just a job.” It’s a calling. And they do this every single day.

We are proud to recognize them this year at the 23rd Annual Summer Institute for Behavioral Health. Since 2020's gala was "interrupted" we'll honor them at this year's ceremony!

Katy Welty - Peer Leadership Award

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Bahney Dedolph - Leadership in Advocacy

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Jane Abucha - Excellence in Integrated Care

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Kimberly Craig - Leadership in Services

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Susie Huhn - Legacy Award

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Damon Polk - Cultural Heritage Award

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Jami Snyder and the COVID-19 response team at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) - Leadership in Policy

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