Brain Science and Updates From the Field

Stairways' Chapman named Exemplary Psychiatrist

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dr. Penny Chapman, psychiatrist and medical director at Stairways, recently earned national distinction as a 2015 Exemplary Psychiatrist by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).

Chapman is one of 17 psychiatrists from 10 states to earn the 2015 award which honors those who go the extra mile to provide excellent mental health care to individuals living with mental illness. The accolade also recognizes the professionals who work to eliminate stigma, raise awareness and advocate for improvements in the mental health care system. All nominees are submitted through a NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate Office.

This is the 36th year for the award.

Chapman has dedicated her career to “community psychiatry,” a track of psychiatry committed to providing quality care to all patients, regardless of the severity of the illness or ability to pay.

Chapman expressed her gratitude for the award by crediting the staff with whom she works for their contributions.

"It was very heart warming to receive this award, but I am also very aware of the huge support I get from all of our staff over the years which has allowed me to connect with patients and their families," Chapman said.

A native of England, Chapman has worked with Stairways Behavioral Health since 1999. She has been instrumental in helping establish fellowships in an effort to attract psychiatrists to the region, especially in underserved rural regions.

Deeply invested in the community, Chapman has provided psychiatric care and consultation at several local nonprofit organizations.

NAMI of Erie County Executive Director Denise Kolivoski lauded Chapman's efforts, calling her deserving of the award.

“Dr. Penny Chapman is an exceptional example of what NAMI stands for: educating and helping people who live with mental illness,” Kolivoski said. "She has had a positive impact on the lives of the people she has cared for and the mental health community as a whole. NAMI of Erie County is proud to have such a dedicated professional in our community."

Her commitment and devotion to the community also serve as a shining example of Stairways’ mission, making this honor all the more appropriate.

Above: Chapman, left, holds her award with Kolivoski


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