Each year, we take time at the Annual OCD Conference to honor the individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service and dedication to the OCD community. This week, we would like to announce the 2107 award winners who will be honored at the 24th Annual OCD Conference, July 7-9 in San Francisco!
And the winners are…
Illumination Award Winner: Corey Hirsch
Corey is a former Vancouver Canucks goalie. He played for four NHL teams in a pro career that included a silver medal for the Canadian team at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. However, panic attacks and obsessive thoughts plagued much of his NHL career until he finally confided in a team trainer. He eventually saw a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with OCD. In the past year Corey has spoken publicly about his struggles with OCD, and has teamed up with past IOCDF Conference Keynote speaker, Clint Malarchuk, to help raise awareness about mental health issues in the sports community. The hope is that by bringing mental health struggles out in the open, and reducing stigma, those that have been suffering silently can access the help they desperately need – and deserve.
“I have obsessive-compulsive disorder. I am not insane. I am not a bad person. I am not weak. I have an illness, and there is a treatment.” – Corey Hirsch
Hero Award Winner: Chrissie Hodges
Chrissie is an OCD sufferer and an inspiring OCD advocate. In 2014 she left her job to dedicate herself full-time to mental health, and she hosted her own podcast on mental health and stigma. She was one of the first individuals to officially work with psychologists in office in order to integrate peer support on a professional level with OCD treatment. In 2015 she became a certified peer support specialist in the state of Colorado, and married that with her vast knowledge of, and experience with, OCD. Shortly after, she became a Peer Support Specialist Training Facilitator. She quickly inserted herself as a regular in the Denver Police and Sheriff Department Crisis Intervention Team and a Training Presenter of Lived Experience With Mental Illness.
Chrissie is a regular presenter for the Colorado National Alliance On Mental Illness. She currently sits on the Colorado Advisory Board for Mental Health Standards and Regulations, as well as the Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission. Chrissie is a professional video and blog contributor for ‘Mental Health On The Mighty’, as well as a presenter for ‘This Is My Brave’ Denver, and ‘Ignite’ Denver. She recently published her book,“Pure OCD: The Invisible Side of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” speaking directly to those that suffer from mental rituals and compulsions.
Outstanding Career Achievement Award Winner: Susan Swedo, MD
Dr. Susan Swedo has made significant contributions to research on pediatric OCD, and has contributed greatly towards identifying factors that influence the onset of OCD and related disorders. In 1994, she was the lead author of the first paper that proposed a link between Group A streptococcus and rapid-onset OCD, now known as PANDAS. As the Chief of the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. Swedo leads a multi-disciplinary research team. She is a past recipient of the NIMH Outstanding Mentor Award for her leadership and dedication to the students in her laboratory. Furthermore, as chairperson of the Neurodevelopmental Work Group for the DSM-V task force, Dr. Swedo recommended changes to the DSM-V criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder that would help improve diagnosis.
Dr. Swedo is a member of IOCDF’s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board. She has authored over 100 research publications during her time at the NIMH, and continues to contribute to our understanding of pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders through her current research, particularly on autism spectrum disorders and childhood-onset OCD. In addition, Dr. Swedo has made contributions in women’s health through her book “It’s Not All in Your Head: The real causes and newest solutions to women’s most common health problems,” which discusses common health issues for women (such as depression, PMS, and eating disorders), and helps them seek the proper treatment.
Patricia Perkins IOCDF Service Award Winners: Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LMSW & Jeff Bell
In 2004, back when OCD awareness and advocacy was still extremely limited, Elizabeth McIngvale became the first “face of OCD.” As the Foundation’s inaugural Spokesperson, Liz courageously shared her story about her own struggle with OCD with the entire nation. Over Liz’s 12-year tenure with IOCDF, she evolved into much more than just a Spokesperson – she became an advocate and an ambassador. In fact, the Peace of Mind Foundation, which Liz and her family started, sponsored last years IOCDF Spokesperson Tour. Through this tour our Spokespeople traveled to five cities, in four states, in just one week, with the goal of increasing awareness for OCD and related disorders. While Liz has transitioned out of her role as Spokesperson, she has recently accepted a chair at the IOCDF Board of Directors table, where we feel confident she will continue to make an impact on the OCD and related disorders community.
If Liz can be considered the “face” of OCD, Jeff Bell is the “voice” of OCD. Jeff is an author, health advocate, and radio news anchor. Jeff joined the IOCDF Board of Directors in 2008, as well as becoming the Foundation’s second Spokesperson. Jeff has been a welcoming presence for the last decade at the Annual OCD Conference, emceeing events, participating as a Keynote Speaker, giving workshops, and generously being available to anyone and everyone who reaches out to him. He too participated in last year’s Spokesperson Tour and headed up the IOCDF Speakers and Media Bureau for several years. Jeff also helped spearhead the launch of our very successful OCD Awareness Week in 2010, as well as our newly formed Ambassador program. The OCD and related disorders community has much to be grateful for in terms of Jeff’s efforts to help raise awareness and decrease stigma.
For more information about the 24th Annual OCD Conference, and to register, visit www.ocd2017.org.