Oklahoma State Department of Health Honors Child Abuse Prevention Leaders

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), Office of Family Support and Prevention Service (FSPS) officially recognized five outstanding child abuse prevention leaders at the State Capitol on Tuesday, April 12.

Along with members from the Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Action Committee, OSDH selected and honored these individuals and organizations for their efforts, which demonstrated significant and outstanding commitment and dedication to child abuse prevention activities.

Two of these five award winners were part of the Parents as Teachers family.

Winning the 2016 Julie L. Bonner Award was Ms. Kellie Payne, an employee of the Oklahoma Department of Health, Parents as Teachers Pilot Program. She is a registered nurse and trained parent educator who previously worked as a Children First/Nurse Family Partnership nurse. Ms. Payne works to ensure her visits are client driven, enrolling clients as early as possible and encouraging involvement from both parents. Ms. Payne is an active member of the Community Coalition for Child Abuse and the Health Board for Head Start.

Mr. and Mrs. Bonner (the parents of the late Julie Bonner, for whom the award is named) accompanied Ms. Payne for a photo after the ceremony. “These award recipients are shining examples of people working in Oklahoma to prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families. These individuals have made a positive impact on the quality of life for Oklahoma's children and families. Much is owed to them,” said Annette Jacobi, director of the Family Support and Prevention Service, OSDH.

Earlier in the day, the Nuestras Familias Program at the Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA) was recognized for their Parents as Teachers Losos Prize. The organization was also honored Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at the 2015 Parents as Teachers Conference in Dallas, Texas. Patty DeMoraes-Huffine, the Director of the Treatment Programs at the LCDA, accepted the award before 1,300 conference participants representing early childhood, child care, health, mental health, social services, government and business professionals from across the nation and around the world. “The Losos Award Winners are intended to honor those programs whose practices exemplify the mission of Parents as Teachers,” says Patty DeMoraes-Huffine, Program Director. “This is such an honor to our program, community, and state.”

Ed Lake, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, served as Master of Ceremonies and renowned pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp presented the opening presentation.

Over 100 people attended the ceremony in the Governor’s Blue Room.

Click here to view photos from the event!

T Anderson