Breaking Into My Life Author Michelle Dickinson-Moravek is Today’s Honoree

Michelle Dickinson-Moravek—a passionate potter who loves to spend time with her Jack Russell Terriers Chloe and Trooper, and her rescue cat, Chance—has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 18 years. She is currently an associate director at Johnson & Johnson, a company she adores because it feels like her second family.

Michelle’s memoir offers a rare glimpse into a young girl’s experience living with—and loving—her bipolar mother. After years of playing the role of child caregiver, she embarked on her own healing journey of self-discovery. She emerged with a strong desire to turn that challenge on its head and positively impact the mental health landscape.

Michelle is out to raise awareness and compassion for those struggling with mental illness along with those who care for them, so that more people get the treatment and help they need and deserve. She believes that together we can eradicate the mental health stigma once and for all.

Determined to share her story of perseverance and triumph as well as what she’s learned about dealing with mental illness in the workplace, Michelle launched what she hopes will be a public speaking career on Johnson & Johnson’s TEDx stage. She would love nothing more than to touch people’s lives with her story and insights in forums across the country.

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Black Couple Getaways Founder Jerome Davis is Today’s Honoree

About JD:

Jerome “JayDee” Davis – is originally from Springfield, Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati. He’s one of the original founders of JazzNet (Jazz and Networking), First Fridays (Nashville), First Fridays United, The Urban Professionals Ski Getaway, Black Couple Getaways and The Urban Hangover. Mr. Davis was the former Vice-President of Youth About Business Inc. (a youth entrepreneur training program for kids 10-18 years old) from 1992 – 2003. In 2003 he started his own company The Urban Professionals Inc. He is currently The Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) for the Urban Professionals, Inc. and Executive Director for Black Couple Getaways founded in 2015. He is focusing his efforts on building a nationwide network of professionals and a national community investment corporation. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Development Corporation Inc., Urban Hangover Inc., Black Couple Getaways and he is also Chairman of The Urban Professionals Inc. and The Urban Professionals Investment Corporation. He also holds two trademarks for “Cocktails and Connections and “Urban Hangover”. He lives and resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Shelley Davis and has two daughters Jessica and Alexis!!

About Black Couples Getaways:

BLACK COUPLE GETAWAYS (BCG) is NOT a Marriage retreat or a counseling session. It’s a weekend getaway for couples to do the following:

1. Relax: BCG provides an opportunity to escape from the stress of your day-to-day grind and connect with your significant other at the ALL-INCLUSIVE, 5-star resort, Melia Nassau Beach in the Bahamas. Enjoy the views of the quiet turquoise waters from your luxury room.

2. Relate: Join us for a romantic getaway to celebrate love, relationships and family. You can expect to party and have some fun with you partner and other couples, as well as workshop and relationship building activities.

3. Recharge: BCG will help recharge, rejuvenate and restore you and your relationship. We have curated some insightful workshops and team building activities to strengthen your relationship. Also, take advantage of the resort’s incredible amenities/services.

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Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) Founder Dr. David Thompson is Today’s Honoree

Dr. David Thompson was the only surgeon at Bongolo Hospital in the jungles of Gabon. He faced the reality that if he died, or left the mission field, he would leave little legacy and would have made little impact on the great need for surgery in Africa.

In 1996, at a continuing medical education conference in Kenya, Dr.Thompson shared his vision with a group of missionary surgeons from several African mission hospitals. They responded with enthusiasm and formed a steering committee. Initially ten mission hospitals expressed interest, but then the realities of the magnitude of implementing this vision became evident – only three hospitals were able to start training residents. Sadly, for various reasons, two of the programs had to close shortly. The fledgling program at Bongolo limped on, graduating its first surgeon in 2002.

PAACS, Circa 1996

Prior to the graduation of the first fully-trained resident, Loma Linda University had agreed in principle to provide a diploma to PAACS graduates but the loose organizational structure of PAACS was of concern. In response, CMDA created a new organizational concept and PAACS became a council of CMDA in 2001.  Loma Linda University has been a valued partner since that time.  The first inspection tour of the PAACS system by LLU was made in 2002.

In 2003, a partnership was formed with Loma Linda University and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations of the United States(CMDA) to establish a non-denominational Christian organization to train general surgeons in Africa. They called the organization the Pan-African College of Christian Surgeons (PACCS), which was later changed to the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons in 2004. PAACS became a commission of CMDA in 2007.

Dr. Thompson still serves with PAACS and in 2013 started another PAACS program in Egypt.

PAACS has grown over the years. Nine PAACS African training programs in general surgery are presently active in Gabon, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Niger, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya (2) and Malawi utilizing ten different hospitals. We also have a pediatric general surgery training program and an orthopedic surgery training program, each at a different Kenyan hospital. The program in Ethiopia is eager to start training orthopedic surgeons and there is a new head and neck fellowship at Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Cameroon. One additional program is presently quiescent in Bangladesh and we are looking at other possible training sites in Africa.  Togo is likely to be the next one.

Sixty-four surgeons have completed the PAACS surgical training program. All PAACS graduates are currently working in various parts of Africa or have gone for post graduate surgical training.

In February 2016, PAACS celebrated its 20th anniversary. God has blessed PAACS! We are truly thankful for his provision and guidance over the years.

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Comedian Red Green is Today’s Honoree

Comedian Steve Smith, better known as Red Green, from the beloved Gemini Award-winning comedy series The Red Green Show, is set to kick off his ‘This Could Be It!’ tour on March 22, in St. Petersburg, Florida. With 11 shows already SOLD OUT, Smith embarks on a 35 date trek across the U.S., and then a 25 date fall tour throughout his homeland of Canada, which kicks off September 20 in Red Deer, Alberta. More dates are expected be added, so please visit for the most up to date tour schedule.

The Red Green Show is also the latest addition to the Heartland TV Network lineup, airing every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm ET/PT. The Red Green Show is also available on Heartland’s free Roku live streaming channel.

The thirty-minute series, offering a unique hybrid of sitcom and sketch comedy entertainment often parodying do-it-yourself and outdoor shows, originally ran for 15 seasons on CBC Television in Canada and PBS in America. The show stars Steve Smith as Red Green along with Patrick McKenna, Rick Green, Jeff Lumby, Wayne Robson, and Bob Bainborough.

Of the addition to Heartland, The Red Green Show creator and star Steve Smith said, “We look forward to our hopeless handyman, master of misadventure and self-delusional philosopher, Red Green, joining the Heartland lineup. Our fans tell us that The Red Green Show brand of comedy unites generations and we look forward to Heartland families having the same experience. Heartland fans, grab a roll of duct tape and your favorite beverage and let the fun begin!”

About The Red Green Show:

The Red Green Show is a unique half-hour comedy series targeted at family audiences, with the purpose of entertaining and providing an escape from the pressures of urban living.

Set way up north at the infamous Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show is a hilarious insight into men, their dreams, and their obsessions. It’s a show for anyone who thinks God created man to give the rest of the world something to laugh at!

Steve Smith plays the acerbic, dry-witted Red Green, lodge leader and host of the show that takes special aim at the yet unexplored humorous side of the male ego and other inflatables. Pat McKenna plays Harold, Red’s techno-geek nephew, and Rick Green (no relation to Red) is the klutzy naturalist Bill. Each week they pass the time bonding, adventuring, entrepreneuring and basically keeping the eight-year-old in them alive and well.

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Hypertension Expert Dr. Maithe Enriquez of the University of Missouri is Today’s Honoree

Dr. Maithe Enriquez is an adult nurse practitioner and participatory health researcher. She strives to maintain a program of research and a clinical practice that will make a significant positive impact on the lives of people who are living with or are at risk for chronic health conditions and infectious diseases. The problems that Dr. Enriquez saw in her clinical practice led her to pursue the PhD to conduct research focused on enhancing chronic disease health outcomes, particularly among people who were struggling with HIV treatment. Dr. Enriquez has conducted successful funded studies with underserved, vulnerable populations. Her research focuses on developing practical interventions that can help individuals and communities improve their health outcomes.

Program of Research

  • Peers Keep It Real: This research project examined a peer-facilitated behavioral intervention for adults who had fallen out of HIV care and had experienced repeated challenges taking life-saving HIV medications faithfully. 2013-2017, funded by National Institute Nursing Research/NIH.
  • Addressing hypertension in the bateyes of the Dominican Republic: This participatory research project is examining the sustainability of a model for chronic disease management among adults with hypertension (high blood pressure) in low-income, geographically isolated communities. 2016-2018, funded by the Jonas Philanthropies.
  • Jonas Global Fellows in the Dominican Republic: This program provides global health research experiences for graduate nursing students. 2016-2019, funded by Jonas Philanthropies.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a major health concern worldwide, affecting an estimated 31 percent of the world’s population. Low and middle-income countries, such as the Dominican Republic, are disproportionately affected.

To help combat this issue, researchers at the University of Missouri partnered with non-profit American and Dominican foundations to bring a pioneering hypertension care program to underserved communities of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. An evaluation of this program by Dr. Maithe Enriquez of the University of Missouri indicates that it is both effective and sustainable.

The Jonas Batey Hypertension Program brought care to four bateyes, which are rural sugarcane settlements that often lack running water, electricity, proper sanitation and convenient access to health clinics or medication. The local foundation visited each community four times per year, providing screenings, multivitamins and a three-month supply of blood pressure medication to those in need at each visit. Though the program is still ongoing, it was evaluated by Enriquez and her colleagues after a one-year period in a study that you can read more about here. The evaluation showed a significant drop in both systolic and dystolic blood pressure for those who were treated.

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Author and Keynote Humorous Keynote Speaker Allen Klein is Today’s Honoree

About the Book:

Learn to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying

Readers of When Breath Becomes AirPresent Over Perfect and Feeling Good will be inspired and encouraged by Embracing Life after Loss.

Work through the depression of grief and loss with resilience: Losing a loved one is never easy. Allen Klein knows how it feels―just like you, he’s lost many loved ones in his life. Inspired by Klein’s experience with the loss of his wife, Embracing Life after Loss will help you to recover from grief and loss―just like Klein did.

Learn how to laugh again: You never forget the people you lose. But you can grow stronger, wiser, and more appreciative of life as you move forward. And, believe it or not, you can even laugh again. Embracing Life after Loss will show you how to smile through the difficult times―how to take a break from the pain of your loss and find joy in life again.

Rediscover joy with the world’s only Jollytologist®: Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, Allen Klein is the perfect person to teach you how to find joy and happiness. Discover why Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Allen Klein is “a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.”

Embracing Life after Loss is a steadfast compass that offers hope and resilience to anyone trying to navigate through dark times. Allen Klein illustrates five practical steps for recovering from depression caused by grief and loss:

  • Losing
  • Learning
  • Letting Go
  • Living
  • Laughing

Laughter and humor are some of God’s gifts to overcome your trials and tribulations. Learn to laugh again with Embracing Life after Loss.

About the Author:

Allen Kein, MA, CSP* (aka Mr. Jollytologist®) is an award winning professional keynote speaker and best-selling author who shows audiences worldwide how humor can help them deal with everyday trials and tribulations as well as triumphing over tragedy.

Allen is the 2009 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

Klein’s books have been published in eight differenlanguages (English, Spanish, Danish, Japanese, Chinese, Hungarian, and Turkish) with over 500, 000 in print.

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Devereux Georgia Advisory Board Chair Hank Booth is Today’s Honoree

As a young boy growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s in Nashville, Tenn., Hank Booth struggled emotionally and socially, while searching for answers to questions such as: Who am I and what is my purpose in life?

When Booth started experimenting with drugs, his parents turned to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas

Booth, who was 16 at the time, lived on Devereux Texas’ campus in Victoria from 1971 to 1972. 

“My experience at Devereux Texas was extremely positive,” said Booth. “The group therapy sessions were especially helpful. I was able to break away from the destructive influences in my hometown, and I began thinking about life in a different way. I have fond memories of the mentors I had and, to this day, I think about the lessons they taught me.”

Charting a path to success

Booth went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in history and political science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta. He then served four years in the U.S. Navy, and went on to have a successful business career at GE Capital and Coca-Cola, where he currently serves as the company’s manager of operational excellence.

In 2012, Booth jumped at the opportunity to give back to Devereux by serving on the Devereux Georgia Advisory Board. He was elected board chair in 2019.

“Every chairman of the board has a theme for their tenure, and mine is Servant Leadership,” Booth shared. “I often ask, ‘What is healthy for a person – outward focus or inward focus?’ I will tell you every time, the answer is outward focus. Nothing is more important than helping and serving others.”

Serving Devereux Georgia youth

In addition to his board duties, Booth leads a volunteer spiritual enrichment program for youth served by Devereux Georgia. The program offers spiritual hope and healing to individuals suffering from emotional pain.

“I started the spiritual enrichment program as a weekly offering in 2012,” Booth explained. “Any Devereux Georgia youth who wants to attend one of our meetings is welcome to attend. It is completely voluntary. Each meeting consists of an hour discussion, in which youth can become involved and ask questions. I believe these types of discussions can spur positive growth and change in a person’s life.”

While recognizing the blessings he has achieved in his own life, Booth is grateful to those at Devereux who helped him along the way, and for the staff across the organization whom he says “give 100 percent of themselves” to help those facing similar challenges today.

“I want the individuals we serve to know that I see them and understand where they are coming from because I have been there – and things will get better,” said Booth, who is married with two children. “I look back on my life, and all that I have accomplished, and it is clear Devereux had a significant impact.”  

To learn more about Devereux Georgia’s programs and services, click here. To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, click here.

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