2017 Award Criteria


Saul Feldman Award for Lifetime Achievement

The Saul Feldman Award honors the lifetime achievement and contributions of an individual to leadership and policy in the mental health and addictions recovery field, including contributions to the knowledge base. Saul Feldman is a co-founder of the College, CEO Emeritus of United Behavioral Health, and former president of the College.

  • Lifetime achievement is characterized by at least 15 years in key leadership and policy positions in the behavioral health field.
  • Contribution to the knowledge base requires documentation of significant contributions to the literature on behavioral health leadership and policy in books, chapters, or articles in leading journals.
  • Leadership requires documentation of a candidate's role as a leader in the public or private sector at the national, regional, or state level. Such leadership can be provided through one's role as an executive in an agency providing mental health and substance use services and/or as an officer or committee chairperson in professional organizations related to mental health and substance use disorders.

Timothy J. Coakley Behavioral Health Leadership Award

The Timothy J. Coakley Behavioral Health Leadership Award honors behavioral health leadership by consumers of mental health and addictions services and leadership by families who have members with addictions and mental health problems. Tim Coakley was an outstanding leader, advocate, program innovator, and visionary in the behavioral health field. He pioneered alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization initiated award-winning services for homeless families, and cultivated a broad range of psychosocial services for the seriously mentally ill. The Coakley award honors consumer and family leaders in the behavioral health field whose work is characterized by the highest degree of integrity and a passion for creative approaches for improving the lives of persons living with mental illness and addictions, especially in the public sector.

  • Individual who is a consumer of mental health and/or addiction recovery services or a family member of a consumer who has demonstrated leadership to advancing the role of consumers in the field, developed innovative services that support recovery, and demonstrated leadership.
  • Contributed to and advanced the role of consumers, families, and persons in recovery in the field.

The King Davis Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity and Reducing Disparities

The King Davis Award is given to recognize leaders who have made significant contributions in promoting diversity or reducing disparities through their work in the areas of behavioral health services, research, advocacy, or policy.

  • An individual at any point in his/her career who has demonstrated leadership in the behavioral health field addressing diversity, disparities, and social justice issues in behavioral health.
  • Demonstrated leadership is defined as having made a direct impact on the quality of care or access to care for marginalized populations at the local, state, or national level.

Barton Distinguished Member Award

The Walter Barton Distinguished Member award honors a College member who has made outstanding contributions to the organization. The award is made in honor of Dr. Walter Barton, the medical director of the American Psychiatric Association for many years and co-founder of the College. The award is given annually to a member for his/her exceptional service to the College and his/her focus on supporting the mission and work of the College.

  • The award is restricted to members of the College.
  • Significant contributions to projects and programs of the College though activities such as defined project leadership; presentations and leadership of symposia, webinars, and Summit; and writings distributed to the College membership.
  • Outstanding contributions to the field of behavioral health leadership that supports the mission and aims of the College.