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The Florida Behavioral Health Association Celebrated its Heroic Awards of Excellence Winners


For Immediate Release

August 30, 2021


Contact: Mary Katherine Delegal

(850) 566-8065

The Florida Behavioral Health Association

Celebrated its Heroic Awards of Excellence Winners

Tallahassee, Fla.—The Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA) honored six heroes with a series of prestigious achievement awards on August 18.


After such a difficult year and a half, the FBHA President and CEO Melanie Brown-Woofter said these behavioral health professionals deserved to be celebrated.


“Our Awards of Excellence recipients have been at the forefront of this pandemic,” said Brown-Woofter. “Each and every day these heroes have set their own personal lives aside to assist those who were and continue to struggle with mental health and substance use disorders during the pandemic.”


The Awards of Excellence annually honors Florida’s best behavioral health professionals. This year, FBHA awarded the following:

  • Supervisor/Administrator of the Year Award: Larry McFarland, LMHC, Clinical Officer, Bridgeway Center, Inc.
  • Peer/Recovery Support Specialist of the Year Award: Joseph “Joe” Wiesen, Senior Recovery Support Specialist, DACCO Behavioral Health
  • Clinician of the Year Award (Youth): Wanda Stuart, Prevention Specialist, Operation PAR
  • Clinician of the Year Award (Adults): Cinthia Creteur, Care Coordinator, Peace River Center
  • Medical Professional of the Year Award: Kelly Jenkins-Gregory, RN, BSN, Director of Nursing, SMA Healthcare
  • Distinguished Service Award: Evalina Bestman

A special recognition was presented to Dr. Evalina Bestman who received the Distinguished Service Award.


“Dr. Bestman is someone who has truly embodied what is means to be a servant leader throughout her entire career,” said Brown-Woofter. “Not only was she the CEO of New Horizons Community Mental Health Center in Miami for 45 years, but she was the first Black mental health professional to be appointed as the Executive Director of a Community Mental Health Center in the state of Florida.”


Dr. Bestman said she is incredibly honored to receive this recognition from the organization that helped support her community mental health center for years.


“I am humbled and shall be grateful to receive this outstanding award,” said Bestman. “To have earned to respect and recognition from professional colleagues is awesome.”


To learn more about FBHA’s 2021 Awards of Excellence visit or click here.



The Florida Behavioral Health Association is a non-profit organization that provides statewide leadership on behavioral health policy and practice. FBHA supports member agencies offering services to those in need of mental health and substance use disorder assistance and support. Its members include a broad range of provider types, ranging from small specialty organizations to comprehensive treatment organizations with multiple locations within a geographic region. For more information, please visit


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