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AMHC celebrates 50 years of service

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Caribou, Maine — (November 20, 2014) — At AMHC’s 2014 annual meeting held recently at the Caribou Inn & Convention Center, AMHC celebrated “50 years of service to our communities” served in Aroostook, Hancock and Washington Counties. AMHC opened its doors in 1964 with a staff of 4 employees and served 300 customers. Over the past 50 years, AMHC has evolved into a comprehensive, community based organization offering a continuum of crisis, residential and outpatient behavioral health and rehabilitation services intended to improve the mental health and welfare of the community as a whole. In 2014, AMHC served 7,653 customers with a staff of more than 300.
Greg Disy, Chief Executive Officer, reflected in his remarks, “As we celebrate our 50-year history, it’s a time to reflect on our many accomplishments. AMHC got its start as a group of community organizers known as the Aroostook County Health Council, who came together to address a perceived need for mental health services in Aroostook County. At that time there were no local resources available to provide care for individuals with mental illnesses and people either went without services or went to Bangor to what was then the Bangor State Hospital or Utterbachs Hospital to receive their mental health care. It was out of this serious need to provide a local response in support of individuals with mental illness that AMHC was born. Bob Vickers became the Executive Director in 1970 and he created the initial vision for the organization to become the full service comprehensive community mental health center that it is today. I am proud to say that it is my belief that we have not wavered in our mission throughout our 50-year history, and we have stayed true to our founding purpose of “providing programs and services for improving mental health and welfare.” A 50 year timeline history of AMHC’s developmental milestones was provided in the annual report distributed to all attendees; a copy of which can be found at AMHC’s website,
During the evening’s program, AMHC’s 50 years of service to the community was formally recognized with a Maine Legislative sentiment presented to AMHC by Rep. Bernard Ayotte on behalf of the Aroostook Delegation and through letters of recognition from U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King and Congressman Michael Michaud.
During the dinner meeting program, Mr. Disy, Frank McElwain, outgoing Board President and Jennette Hitchcock, Chief Operations Officer presented length of service awards for 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years of service to 44 staff and one board member, Richard Marston. Individuals receiving awards have provided a combined total of 290 years of service.
Jason Cyr, Network Administrator, was awarded the 2014 Vickers Excellence Award for exhibiting a strong commitment to AMHC’s mission and for all he does to advance the organization to meet its goals and objectives. Mr. Disy praised Mr. Cyr, “I am always impressed with his commitment to the organization, strong work ethic, belief in the agency’s mission, and ability to see the big picture and his passion for the work that he does. Jason’s drive to find ways that he can make a personal difference in the organization’s ability to be successful is commendable. Jason is well regarded by employees across the organization, is a strong team player and someone who delivers quality customer service.”
AMHC is a nonprofit organization with 20 service sites located in Aroostook, Washington, and Hancock counties.