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Crossroads’ Executive Director John Plaskon Receives Award

Crossroads’ Executive Director John Plaskon Receives Award

John Plaskon has received the Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry’s 2011 Outstanding Merit Award. It was presented to him at the annual meeting of the Maryland Psychiatric Society in April and includes a prize of $500.
The award honors an organization of individuals who increases understanding, quality of care and public awareness of mental illness and treatment options. The foundation recognized Plaskon “for his vision and leadership in opening a new mental health clinic in rural Queen Anne’s county during the height of the recession.”
For almost 30 years, Crossroads Community has been providing a full array of psychiatric rehabilitation and case-management services to adults and children of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.
In 2009, a community-needs assessment conducted by the Queen Anne’s County Community Partnerships for children identified outpatient mental health services as a top priority. The Partnerships, in conjunction with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, secured a start-up grant to address this priority.
In collaboration with Lower Shore Clinic, Crossroads proposed and implemented the establishment of Corsica River Mental Health Services at a time when economic realities increased the risk of sustaining a new clinic. The need for the felicities’ was demonstrated when it s projected threshold of 300 clients was exceeded in its first nine months of operation.
The clinic, housed within Crossroads Community on Banjo Lane in Centreville, provides mental health treatment to all individuals, regardless of ability to pay, to ensure access to psychiatric services for those most in need. “Sustaining this philosophy to serve all in need is our greatest fiscal challenge,” said Plaskon.
Describing himself as “just one piece of the puzzle,” Plaskon said that he was humbled by the recognition. “There were a lot of people involved in the project,” he said, expressing his appreciation to his colleagues and co-workers who have made the clinic a success.
Relating that his late mother had a mental illness, he added, ‘She would be smiling that I had a part of making this happen.”

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