The Global Alliance recognizes...

The Membership Committee of the Global Alliance recommends individuals or organizations for special recognition.  The program acknowledges significant contributions of individuals or organizations that align with and reflect the Alliance's core values.  In particular, honorees engage in behavioral health research, practice, or advocacy that helps to promote more humane social policy.  Honorees represent the diverse disciplines (e.g., psychology, social work, law, public health, psychiatry, education, nursing, and other allied fields) that make up the Alliance's membership.  

2017 Honorees  

safritteen health connection logoLibby Safrit, MA, LPA-HSPA (Executive Director) and Teen Health Connection

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Teen Health Connection celebrated their 25th year of behavioral health innovation in 2017. Teen Health Connection was ‘ahead of the curve’ in providing integrated primary and mental health care services, and this unique non-profit healthcare practice also delivers health education and prevention programs for youth aged 11 to 22. In addition to the comprehensive and coordinated care they provide to youth, they conduct health education and outreach through the practice, the local school system, and the community, with supports and programming addressing topics ranging from sexuality and risky behavior to teen-focused mentoring, and from adolescent substance use and prevention to skill-building courses for parents. Also notable is the fact that Teen Health Connection serves as the medical home for youth in the custody of the county’s Department of Social Services / Youth and Family Services (i.e., child welfare). Moreover, since 2011, Teen Health Connection has conducted comprehensive psychological assessments for youth entering county custody (those in foster care). These assessments are “service independent,” i.e., Teen Health Connection does not provide any of the recommended mental health services for these youth, reducing potential bias and self-referrals for services. Teen Health Connection has also had a consistent role in the state-mandated work of the multidisciplinary Mecklenburg County Child Fatality Prevention and Protection Team, charged with identifying and advocating for needed systemic changes to improve protections for children and reduce the likelihood of tragic negative outcomes for children who are involved in the local child welfare system.

martin pictureDanielle Martin, MD, CCFP, MPP, Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine and School of Public Policy and Governance, Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, Vice President, Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto

A family doctor by training, Dr. Martin has utilized her expertise in health care policy, health services research, and innovation in care to work for social change in Canada and the United States. Guided by the notion that research and education centering on health care policy and systems can foster change and improve the likelihood that the multifaceted health needs of communities are met, Dr. Martin has sought to increase understanding of healthcare system issues and to remove barriers to care. Dr. Martin has been a prominent advocate for preserving and improving public health care in Canada and, in recent years, has been a meaningful voice in discussions and debates about the health care system in the United States. For instance, she has appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee examining health care systems and has advocated for single-payer health care as a mechanism for ensuring equal access to care for all. Dr. Martin practices family medicine at the Family Practice Health Centre at Women’s College Hospital (Toronto) and functions as the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions at the hospital. She has received numerous awards and been cited for her contributions to the health and well-being of people in Canada (and beyond) and her commitment to social responsibility.

pacheco award pictureMaría Pacheco, MS, Founder of Wakami and Communities of the Earth

Ms. Pacheco has been internationally recognized as a global leader for creating economic opportunities for women and families living in poverty. She founded  Wakami and the non-profit  Communities of the Earth which seek to reduce poverty and malnutrition in rural Guatemala by linking communities with local and international markets. Her efforts empower local women and bring sustainable change to these rural communities by employing a “double methodology”: 1) Communities of the Earth provides training and mentoring to women in rural communities of Guatemala as they open, manage, and grow their own formal businesses; and 2) Wakami becomes the first client of the newly incorporated rural companies, exporting their products worldwide. The training is grounded in a participatory approach that helps individuals generate income and encourages them to invest that income in resources, products, and services that can improve their health and quality of life (i.e., nutrition, education, housing, and living conditions). Ms. Pacheco received an MS degree in Agriculture from Cornell University, was a Fulbright Scholar, and was named a fellow of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network. She was the recipient of the 2016 International Award from Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation and received 3rd place in the Chivas Venture competition in 2016.

rafferty sizedYvonne Rafferty, PhD Professor of Psychology, Pace University

Yvonne Rafferty, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at Pace University in New York and a 2017-2018 Fulbright Scholar to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Studies Research Program. As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Rafferty is currently conducting research and social policy work in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, with a project titled, “Prevention and Protection Practices for the Successful Identification, Recovery and Reintegration of Victims of Child Trafficking in Southeast Asia.” Dr. Rafferty has conducted extensive research and international advocacy on the protection of children from trafficking, as well as prompted greater attention on the need to focus on child trafficking prevention. In addition to research on child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, Dr. Rafferty has also conducted research on homelessness, AIDS and adolescents, children with disabilities, and early childhood education. Her current research focuses on discrimination and violence against girls within a global context. Dr. Rafferty served as a representative for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues to the United Nations for 12 years and was especially active with the Working Group on Girls, Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Committee on Child Rights, Psychology Coalition, and NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons. 

gross sizedDeborah Gross, DNSc, RN, FAAN. Professor of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Gross is best known for her work in promoting positive parent-child relationships and preventing behavior problems in preschool children from low-income neighborhoods. At Johns Hopkins University, she holds joint appointments at the School of Nursing, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine, and the Department of Mental Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Previously, as associate dean for research and a department chair at Rush University College of Nursing, Dr. Gross and colleagues developed the innovative Chicago Parent Program, which improves parenting behavior and reduces child behavior problems. The program currently is used in many settings, including Head Start centers in Chicago and New York City. Dr. Gross was a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow. Among her many recognitions are the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research President's Award for Outstanding Research, the American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Award honoring developers of model programs offering solutions to healthcare challenges, and induction into the Sigma Theta Tau Researchers Hall of Fame. She has served on numerous review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine, published more than 100 articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and currently serves on the editorial board of Research in Nursing & Health and Nursing Outlook. To learn more about the Chicago Parent Program, watch this  video.


Honorees - December 2016

Brook Griese, PhD and Judi's House 

Based in Denver, CO, the Judi's House's staff conducts community-wide outreach and provides a host of free services and supports to children and families who are grieving. They have also been working to expand, with the goal of establishing a network of professionals focused on increasing access to effective care for grieving children and families. Dr. Griese, a clinical psychologist, has worked to ensure that their interventions are grounded in data, and they have recently established the JAG Institute (see to house their research and training initiatives, with the goal that this will expand.  They are also working with partners to develop web-based tools and information systems that can support effective care as well as collaborative research and evaluation.  Dr. Griese and her colleagues have worked tirelessly to help advance and strengthen the field of childhood bereavement. And, importantly, Dr. Griese has advocated for social change around grief/bereavement care, working to "ensure that preventive and early intervention services are available to all bereaved children and families who need them -- regardless of whether they have a diagnosable disorder in the DSM." 


Tonda HughesTonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN 

Tonda Hughes is a professor at the Columbia University School of Nursing and director of Global Health Research. Dr. Hughes also holds the title of Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was Collegiate Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health in the College of Nursing, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health. She also holds honorary appointments in Australia (University of Technology-Sydney & Deakin University), England (Oxford Brookes University) and in the United States (University of Pennsylvania).  Dr. Hughes has distinguished herself through her work on women's mental health and substance use.  She has conducted groundbreaking research on issues related to chemically dependent nurses and alcohol use by sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women.  The impact of Dr. Hughes' research is evident in the many awards that she has received from diverse organizations at the local, national, and international levels.  Most recently, she received the 2016 Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the LGBT community, for exemplary commitment to quality of health services for LGBT persons, and for improving the environment for LGBT healthcare workers. Dr. Hughes was also an early career author in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, publishing her very first professional article in the journal.   

Robert SimmonsRobert Simmons, JD (Executive Director) and the Council for Children's Rights

Based in Charlotte, NC, the Council works to support “every child’s right to be safe, healthy and educated.” Council programs provide the most comprehensive advocacy and legal services for children in the southeast U.S.  They have major teams committed to children’s legal representation and defense (effectively functioning as the public defenders for youth in Charlotte’s home county, Mecklenburg), individual advocacy (typically in the context of education, child welfare, and mental health), and custody advocacy. They also work to address systems and community issues through research and policy work as well as larger-scale collaborations with community partners. The Council’s lawyers and advocates work primarily in the areas of education, abuse and neglect, health, mental health, contested custody, domestic violence and juvenile justice. Mr. Simmons also Chairs the County’s Child Fatality Task Force and, as a representative of that group, wrote an Op-Ed piece in opposition to North Carolina’s HB2 legislation.

Donald Warne

Donald Warne, MD, MPH

Donald Warne is chair of the Department of Public Health at North Dakota State University, associate professor and Mary J. Berg Distinguished Professor in Women's Health, and senior policy advisor to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board.  As a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Dr. Warne has worked to address the public health needs of the American Indian population, and shed light on the impact of historical trauma and childhood adversity on the notable health disparities experienced by American Indians.  Dr. Warne is expert in minority health policy, integrative care, and family practice.  He has held numerous positions providing direct care, contributing to policy efforts, and conducting research and developing health education and prevention program in partnership with tribal communities.  Dr. Warne's leadership, social advocacy, health policy work, and other professional activities have led to numerous honors and recognition from diverse groups.  Most recently, he received the 2015 Public Health Innovation Award from the National Indian Health Board.  Dr. Warne also was a primary force in the development of the American Indian Public Health specialization at North Dakota State University, which has been described as the only Master of Public Health program in the nation specifically designed to prepare graduates to work with the American Indian population and to improve Native health.