Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gail Breakey and Betsy Dew Receive Healthy Families America Shining Star Awards

Award Recognizes Their Influence on the National Implementation of HFA


Chicago, IL (December 3, 2012) — During the Healthy Families America 20th Anniversary Celebration at Prevent Child Abuse America’s recent national conference “Awaken to Change - the National Conference for America’s Children” in Jacksonville, Florida, Gail Breakey and Betsy Dew, recognized trailblazers in the field home visiting, received the Healthy Families America Shining Star Award in recognition of their profound influence on the national implementation of Healthy Families America.

Ms. Breakey along with Ms. Dew established the Hawaii Family Support Center in 1975, initiating home visiting services, which evolved into the Hawaii Healthy Start program. Ms. Breakey was instrumental in pioneering the Healthy Families America program, visiting at least 20 states to introduce the program and assist in strategizing how to initiate programs with local leadership. Further, Ms. Breakey also played a key role initiating the Hawaii Family Support Institute in 2004, which has continued advocacy for Healthy Start among other projects.

Ms. Dew is a founding architect of Healthy Families America, designing the first in-state and national training and quality assurance systems, as well as, a systematic process for reaching out to parents to link to appropriate resources. She is co-author of a study of children hospitalized for abuse/neglect and has provided technical consultation in development of family support programs throughout the U.S., for the U.S. Navy Worldwide, and in the Philippine Islands, Canada, Jordan, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand.    

“It is not enough to say that Gail Breakey and Betsy Dew are deserving recipients of this award,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, “because without them, home visiting in general, and Healthy Families America more specifically, would never have become the fixture it has in enhancing the well-being of children and families across this country."


Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 50 states and 539 Healthy Families America sites in 41 states, the District of Columbia, all five US territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Commonwealth of the Marianas, and American Samoa) and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites, here and here.

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