Awards Archive

Current Awards & Achievements

Rich Gacka Receives 2009 Outstanding Adult Educator Award

Richard C. Gacka, Ed.D., Senior Administrator for Educational Services and Dir. of the Northwest Professional Development Center at Stairways Education Center was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Adult Educator at the 44th Annual PAACE Midwinter Conference on Adult Education. Gacka was selected by award winners for his outstanding contribution to the development of adult education across Pennsylvania.

William McCarthy Receives 2008 James V. Kinnane Criminal Justice Award

Stairways Chief Executive Officer, William F. McCarthy, received the 2008 James V. Kinnane Criminal Justice Award for his impressive career in mental health and his tireless efforts to promote best practices in our prison system for persons with mental illness and for his work in creating the only forensics outpatient treatment program for mental health offenders in Northwestern PA. Dr. Thomas Gamble, Mercyhurst College President, presented the award at the annual criminal justice conference, “Systems Gone Awry – When Criminal Justice Meets Mental Health,” which focused on the issues of mental illness and incarceration.

2008 Applause Award

Stairways Behavioral Health received the 2008 Applause Award from the Arts Erie for its efforts to create, implement and promote healing art programs throughout the Erie community, including those offered daily at Stairways Center City Arts. In presenting the award, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Community Affairs Director Jim Martin applauded Stairways for promoting the body/mind health connection through participation in the arts. Several hundred business leaders and arts supporters were on hand at Mercyhurst College to celebrate Stairways’ commitment to the educational and restorative benefits of the arts.

The 2006 Pennsylvania Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Award

The Pennsylvania Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (PARF) presented its annual Rehabilitation Agency Recognition Award for 2006 to Stairways Behavioral Health. The award recognizes and honors organizations that have made a major contribution to the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, or that have contributed in a significant way to their well being.

SBH Board Receives 2002 Excellence Award from the Erie Community Foundation

The Stairways Behavioral Health Board of Directors was awarded the first-ever Charles H. Bracken Excellence in Nonprofit Governance Award on June 24, 2002 at the Erie Boston Store concourse by The Erie Community Foundation and The Center for Nonprofit Services. Stairways Board was chosen based its leadership, organizational mission, conscientious recruitment of new board members, attention to policy and planning, participation in fundraising, maintaining a professionally and demographically diverse board, effective governance practices and responsible fiscal management.

Stairways CEO Named PA’s ‘Professional of the Year’

In 2001, William F. McCarthy, CEO of Stairways Behavioral Health, received the Professional of the Year Award at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Pennsylvania convention. The award is presented for advocacy, education and support of NAMI PA goals and policies. Bill was honored for his recent work in starting a much-needed outpatient clinic and reducing waiting time from more than six weeks to less than a week, for adding services for people ages 16-20 and quadrupling services for those with dual diagnosis. He also led the statewide initiative to increase direct care worker salaries and served as member of the local Treatment Court Interdisciplinary Team.

Stairways Behavioral Health Named ‘1999 Employer of the Year’

In 1999, The Erie Economic Development Corporation of Erie County honored Stairways Behavioral Health as one of the top area non-profits for excellence in job retention and growth.


"Stairways helped me to work on recovery, one step at a time." -Ron S

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