Yota Gikas, the Assistant Vice President of Community Based Programs for Italian Home for Children, recently received the Association for Behavioral Healthcare's (ABH) award for Excellence in Leadership and Empowerment Award. ABH is statewide organization representing over 80 community-based behavioral healthcare provider organizations, recognized its 2020 award recipients at its annual Salute to Excellence event on October 16th, hosted virtually this year. Each year, ABH recognizes individuals and groups that have made impressive contributions to the field of mental health and addiction treatment
"On behalf of ABH, we want to thank all award recipients for the important work that they do every day, and particularly for their dedication to providing vital behavioral health services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Lydia Conley, President and CEO of ABH. “Your perseverance, creativity, and dedication have shown more than ever this year and we salute you for your unwavering commitment to individuals and families living with mental health and substance use disorders across the Commonwealth. ”
Gikas oversees the Italian Home’s outpatient mental health clinic, school-based contracts, in-home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program, as well as three CBHI programs. Gikas’ efforts to recruit an extremely diverse staff – ethnicity, race, LGBTQ - with linguistic capacity for ten languages is allowing IHC to open access to many more clients in the next couple of months and is reaching those that are marginalized by language barriers.