Click here to view the 2014 Impact Award recipient videos.  

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The 2014 Morgan Impact Awards

Award Recipients L to R- Front Row: Pat Seifert, Ph.D. Clara Rankin, Mark Masuoka, Georgette Constantinou, Doug Straight; Back row: Tommy Bruno, Steve Cosby, Adam Sheldon, Justin Caithaml

The 5th Annual Morgan Impact Awards, honoring individuals and organizations impacting areas of mental health, education and arts were presented Thursday, November 20 at the Northeast Ohio Medical University Education and Wellness Center.

More than 350 guests enjoyed a welcoming reception prior to the dinner and awards program including:

  • The Honorable Thomas Teodosio, Judge Summit County Court of Common Pleas
  • The Honorable Linda Tucci Teodosio, Judge, Summit County Juvenile Court
  • David Lieberth, Former Deputy Mayor, City of Akron
  • David Basil, Hudson City Council, Ward Two

and business and education leaders:

  • Joel Mowrey, ED, Mental Health and Recovery Board of Portage County
  • Tallmadge City School District Leaders and Board
  • Mark Scheffler, ED, Leadership Akron
  • John Petures, Akron Community Foundation
  • Christine Mayer, GAR Foundation

The evening began with a welcome from The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation President Rick Kellar, who announced “The people and programs we honor this evening exemplify care, concern and conscientious support of others.” The awards program consisted of short videos highlighting the work of each award recipient. Following short speeches, honorees took home a Fräbel custom glass dogwood sculpture and a framed certificate.

Foundation President Rick Kellar announced the honorees:

Adam Sheldon and Justin Caithaml were presented the Award for Education for their unique methods using creative arts to enhance academic performance with their program, Shaping Music And Reading Together (SMART). Recognizing the need for pre-service educators to have authentic teaching experiences in diverse settings and with the support of their professors, peers and the university administration, they formed a partnership with Akron Public Schools to craft a framework for a student-led urban teaching initiative. The program couples the growth and development of Akron students with the growth and development of tomorrow’s teachers. SMART students learn about different cultures through story exploration, movement, and music creation.

Akron Art Museum, Live Creative was presented the Award for Imagination for excellence in fostering creativity and inspiring a broad audience to discover a passion for the arts. The Akron Art Museum’s education programs directly impact the lives of toddlers, parents, preschoolers, teachers, students, artists, and community members. Each Thursday offers a diverse menu of unique experiences that encourage children and families to unplug, reconnect and get creative. Admission to the museum is now free every Thursday.

Akron Children’s Hospital, Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) received the Award for Mental Health demonstrating dedication and commitment to adolescent mental health.

The Partial Hospitalization Program has served approximately 4,000 adolescents and their families offering a variety of treatment modalities that provide a rich therapeutic experience. A parent stated, “We are incredibly thankful to (PHP) professionals who have helped our daughter through one of her darkest times thus far in life.  Keep doing what you are doing because you are really good at it.”

The Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) is a triage and referral service for children and adolescents at risk for self-harm. Located in the Emergency Services Behavioral Health unit of Akron Children’s Hospital, PIRC is staffed by a well- trained dedicated team of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors and Licensed Independent Social Workers who assess patients in a family friendly environment.  This level of accessibility and quality of individualized care is unrivaled in the pediatric mental health arena.  PIRC staff has revolutionized the delivery of behavioral health care in a hospital Emergency Department by delivering safe and efficient emergency mental health services to patients and families who are experiencing a crisis. Their compassion and professionalism assists the families when they are extremely vulnerable and overwhelmed. 

The Summit was presented the Award for Innovation for their innovative thinking and creative initiatives  impacting our region. The public radio station is a leading independent multimedia organization that builds community around compelling music and enlightening content worldwide, sustained through public support.  In addition to the commercial-free music, The Summit offers award-winning streaming and smart phone stations. Summit Flashbacks offers music from the 1980’s new wave area. KIDJAM! Radio combines upbeat, current and classic music mixing-in kids mentoring kids on exercise, nutrition and self-care. Rock and Recovery features positive, meaningful rock songs with inspirational messages.

Clara T. Rankin was honored with the Founder’s Award. She embodies qualities of creativity, discovery, and steadfastness and is committed to family and has a spirit of selfless giving, as Peg Morgan, Founder of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation.

For many years, Clara Taplin (Mrs. Alfred M.) Rankin has been a major catalyst for the arts in Northeast Ohio and an advocate for individuals dealing with mental illness. Guided by her motto, “family first,” and dedication to family, Mrs. Rankin envisioned a healing place. With the help of a small group of devoted friends, including Peg and Burt Morgan, raised the necessary funds, identified a suitable property in rural Mesopotamia, and founded Hopewell. It is Ohio’s only therapeutic farm community for adults with mental illness.

Suzanne Morgan, daughter of the late Peg Morgan, commented, “I am elated that she is receiving this award. She has contributed so much to the healing of people with mental illness, recognizing the need in the field and making it the best care.”