Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida Medical Director and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Manal Durgin, M.D., was recently named the “2019 Youth Behavioral Healthcare Professional of the Year” by the Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA).
Each year, the FBHA honors distinguished professionals across the state who have made significant contributions in the field of behavioral healthcare. Durgin received the award during the FBHA’s annual conference in August in Orlando, with more than 1,400 behavioral healthcare professionals in attendance.
“For more than 20 years, Dr. Durgin has provided extraordinary care for the children and adolescents we serve,” said Devereux Florida Executive Director Michelle Llorens. “She is loved and respected by our individuals, staff, parents and caregivers alike. Her calm and nurturing disposition shines through in everything she does, especially when interacting with our youth. We are thrilled Dr. Durgin is being recognized in this way, and we are so proud of her many accomplishments.”
Durgin expressed her appreciation for the award and noted, “It is humbling to work for an organization that is so dedicated to serving and supporting individuals in need. My favorite part of my job is working directly with youth and their families. They challenge me, make me smile and teach me important life lessons on a daily basis. I also am grateful for my extraordinary and talented co-workers who are like my second family. I am honored to work alongside them.”
Making a positive impact
Phyllis Musumeci, whose son, Christian, received services through Devereux Florida, credits Durgin with helping her son thrive.
“My son struggled with expressive language and behavioral aggression for many years,” Musumeci shared. “Through Dr. Durgin’s direction, Christian learned how to use functional communication to voice his wants and needs, which then resulted in a decrease in his aggressive and self-injurious behaviors. Dr. Durgin is one in a million, and we greatly appreciate all she did for Christian and our family, and what she continues to do for others.”
About Manal Durgin:
Durgin joined Devereux Florida in 1998 as a chief psychiatrist before transitioning to the position of medical director in 2015. In her current role, she oversees the overall treatment planning and services provided throughout Devereux Florida’s continuum of care, including a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital, residential treatment centers, group homes, foster care, outpatient counseling and prevention programs. Board certified in general psychiatry and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Durgin specializes in treating youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities, along with mental health challenges.
Melanie Brown-Woofter, president of the FBHA, applauded Durgin for her decades of exemplary service.
“The FBHA is committed to promoting the advancement of behavioral healthcare services in our state and transforming the way our society views mental health,” Brown-Woofter explained. “Each year, the FBHA honors distinguished professionals who have made significant contributions to this collective effort. Dr. Durgin’s exceptional contributions to improving the lives of many individuals living with mental health conditions, along with her dedicated advocacy for enhanced support for families, make her very deserving of this honor.”
Kurt Kelly, president of the Florida Coalition for Children, added, “Dr. Durgin is a shining example of the impact that can be made in our communities and the critical focus we must continue having about services and promising practices needed in our communities to protect children and provide support for families.”