Robert Hawkins Tribute Award Dinner

This annual Tribute Award is a very special honor intended to recognize an outstanding mental health leader or advocate during the month of May, which is Mental Health Month.  This award is in honor of Robert Hawkins, who served as Superintendent of the Colorado Mental Health Institute of Pueblo until his untimely death in July 2002.  Robert Hawkins is remembered not only for his strong leadership as a mental health professional but also for his extensive volunteer service and his ability to demonstrate, both professionally and personally, his love of mankind and advocacy for individuals with a mental illness.  The criterion for this award is an individual that has demonstrated significant achievements or advancements in the mental health community during his/her career that compliments MHAP's mission.

Our second award category is the Gil Sanchez Mission Award. Gil Sanchez served as the President and CEO of the Spanish Peaks Mental Health Center for many years. He is credited for his innovative approach to insuring poor and minority mental health consumers had their mental health needs met.  Mr. Sanchez passed away at the age of 82 in 2012.  This award is designed to recognize an outstanding individual, group, or agency that has made a significant achievement or advancement in the mental health field through treatment, advocacy, policy, exploratory program models, or professional standards.  

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Our final award is the Robin Hill Phoenix Award and was established in 2017. Robin Hill is the founder of Friendly Harbor and served as the president for many years. According to Greek mythology, the phoenix bird lives a very long life and when it passes it is reborn from its own ashes. This award honors an individual living with a mental illness that has demonstrated significant achievements or advancements in the mental health community.  

Special Update: Because we were unable to host the 2020 Tribute Dinner, we have decided to honor the 2020 winners during this year's dinner. We are so excited to recognize Dr. Robert Tonsing, Teah Miller, and Dominque Mundt for their outstanding achievements but we wanted to show them the respect and attention they deserve. Therefore, we have decided not to have any other Robert Hawkins, Gil Sanchez, or Robin Hill Phoenix Awardees for 2021. 

Instead, we created a special award category for this year only, to honor a Behavioral Health Pandemic Hero.

We noticed that the media recognized many of the medical professionals, hospitals, and nursing homes providing care to those affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, there was another set of frontline staff not often mentioned, the army of behavioral health workers who continued to provide support to those in need despite the risk. We received several amazing nominations (see below) and the winner of the Pandemic Hero award will be announced during the Tribute Dinner. 

Recent Robert Hawkins Tribute awardees include:

2019- Senator Leroy Garcia 

2018- Michael George, MSW, Friendly Harbor 

2017- Anne C. Courtright, MD, Retired Psychiatrist, CMHIP

2016 - Elizabeth "Libby" Stuyt, MD - Psychiatrist, Circle Program, CMHIP

2015 - Christine Nevin-Woods, DO, MPH, Medical Officer, Pueblo City-County Health Department

2014 - Julie Meeker, M.D., Chief Psychiatrist, CMHIP

2013 - Carlos Rodriguez, Ph.D., New Beginnings 

2012 - James Cameron, Ph.D., Colorado State University-Pueblo

2011 - Musharraf Nizami, M.D., Psychiatrist, Front Range Psychiatric Associates

2010 - Former Chief District Court Judge, Dennis Maes, 10th Judicial District


Recent Gil Sanchez Mission Award recipients include:

2019- Jason Chippeaux, LCSW, Health Solutions 

2019- Parkview Behavioral Services 

2018- Dr. Michael Nerenburg, MD, Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association 

2017- Drucilla Pugh, BSW, Program Manager at CASA

2017- Maureen White, EdD, MA, LPC, Director of Youth and Family Services at Health Solutions

2016 - Rob Archuleta - Addicts 2 Athletes

2016 - Dorothy Perry, Ph.D.- CEO of Health Solutions

2015 - Elizabeth "Libby" Stuyt, MD, Psychiatrist, Circle Program, CMHIP

2015 - Kathleen Camblin and Karen Camblin, Volunteers, NAMI Southeast CO

2014 - Cindy Jimenez, LCSW, Pueblo Community Health Center

2014 - Detention Bureau Staff, Pueblo County Sheriff Office

2013 - Nicholas Rodriguez, LCSW (Post Humulously), Pueblo Community Health Center

2013 - Stephanie Haney, MSW, Steel City Behavioral Health

2012 - Ami Gorsky, MSW, Sangre de Cristo Hospice

2012 - Haydee Kort, MD, and Gregorio Kort, MD, Retired Psychiatrists, CMHIP


Recent Robin Hill Phoenix Award recipients include:

2019- Joseph Bowers, Friendly Harbor 

2018- Brett Cozza, Friendly Harbor

2017- Robin Hill, MA, Founder of Friendly Harbor