Delaware: 2021 Compassionate Champion Award Recipients

Individuals and organizations recognized for their dedication to trauma-informed care.

WILMINGTON, DE (STL.News) Governor John Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney on Wednesday announced eight recipients of the Compassionate Champion Awards, the state’s recognition program for organizations and individuals in Delaware providing exemplary trauma-informed care.  Each 2021 award winner falls within a distinct category – education, first responder, healthcare, community organization and government – and represent those who go above and beyond in providing compassionate care.

“Across the state of Delaware, we have organizations and individuals who have made the commitment to serve their communities using trauma-informed approaches,” said Governor Carney.  “This year, more than ever, it has been crucial to serve with compassion and an understanding of trauma and its effects.  Our Compassionate Champion Award recipients have gone above and beyond to make Delaware and its citizens stronger, healthier, and more compassionate.  We thank them for all they do for the community.”

“In the past year, we’ve seen the impacts of trauma perhaps more clearly, more publicly, than ever before.  And, thanks to our Compassionate Champion Award recipients and many others in our state, we’ve also seen the impact and promise of how we can support each other,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney.  “These organizations and individuals have answered the challenge of the past year-plus to support and strengthen communities throughout Delaware.  We’ve seen that trauma and challenge are not destiny;  that we have the tools to build a better future, and that together, we can do just that.”


Education: Sarah Pyle Academy

First Responder: New Castle County Division of Police, Hero Help Behavioral Health Unit

Healthcare: ChristianaCare, special recognition to Dr. Stacey Boyer, PsyD and Megan O’Hara, LCSW

Community Organization: Children & Families First Trauma Response Team

Government: Erin Connelly, Victim Services Coordinator, Delaware Department of Correction

Due to the extraordinary nominees this year in the education and first responder categories, we are proud to recognize the Compassionate Champion Award First Runners Up:

Education 1st Runner Up: The Bancroft School

Education 1st Runner Up: Evan G. Shortlidge Academy

First Responder 1st Runner Up: Melissa Pennachi, Newark Police Department

To celebrate the award recipients, a virtual celebration event will take place on Thursday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Since 2018, the Family Services Cabinet Council has worked to implement Executive Order #24, which launched efforts to make Delaware a trauma-informed state.  The Family Services Cabinet Council is a cabinet-level group reestablished by Governor Carney in February 2017 to coordinate public and private services for Delaware families.