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BHDDH Honors Advocates for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities at Award Ceremony Marking National Disabilities Awareness Month

Cranston, RI On Monday, March 24, members of the developmental disabilities community joined BHDDH Director Craig Stenning at a ceremony honoring Edwin T. Drew and James V. Healey in the lobby of BHDDH. Director Stenning presented the second annual Fogarty-Olean award to Edwin T. Drew for over 45 years of leadership, dedication and advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Drew's volunteer efforts have had a profound impact on individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly those at the J. Arthur Trudeau Center. His commitment to this population spans more than 45 years. He was actively involved in the efforts to close the Joseph H. Ladd School. He has been described as a "restless pioneer believing there is always work to be done, something can always be done better, and believing that one should never stop pushing boundaries."

James V. Healey, a member of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, was the recipient of the Director's Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his many significant, legislative efforts, Mr. Healey was responsible for a law that made Rhode Island the first state to enact a "right to education" statute for all individuals with developmental disabilities. Mr. Healey also played a leading role in closing down the Joseph H. Ladd School.

"Each year, the Fogarty-Olean award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities," said Craig Stenning. We established this award to encourage a new generation of community leaders, family members and parents to speak out on behalf of those who often are not heard. With the Director's Lifetime Achievement Award, we are acknowledging Mr. Healey's exceptional leadership in the transformation of the Developmental Disabilities system."

Guest speakers included Mary Fogarty McAndrew, Chairperson of the John E. Fogarty Foundation for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and daughter of John E. Fogarty, Donald F. Armstrong, President and CEO of the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, BHDDH Director Craig Stenning and Andrew Whalen, a graduate of the Leadership Series at Advocates in Action.

About the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals BHDDH is recognized by the federal government as the Rhode Island's Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities entity. The Department is committed to assuring access to quality services and supports for Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities, mental health and substance abuse issues and chronic, long-term medical and psychiatric conditions. In addition to planning for the development of new services and prevention activities, the department's mission includes addressing the stigma attached to these disabilities. For more information, visit

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Department or agency: RI BHDDH - Employment First


Release date: 06-12-2014

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