2014 Spirit Winner

Donna Bookout

Donna Bookout is the 2014 winner of Meridian Health Service Spirit of Meridian award, which recognizes community members who embody the organization's focus on whole-person health. Bookout received the award Saturday at Rialzo V, Meridian Health Service's annual fundraising gala for her efforts in Women's Health to help addictive pregnant mothers and the public awareness campaign "When I Abuse, We both Lose."

Bookout's boundless energy and limitless contributions toward the protection and wellness of children from abuse, made her selection easy. It has been and remains a primary cause for Meridian, as well. "Donna Bookout brings the highest level of commitment to the very things Meridian Health Services stands for," said Hank Milius, president and CEO. "There are few people who have done so much for so many for so long."

Bookout, a longtime board member of Prevent Child Abuse of Delaware County, has worked with Meridian Services' Child Advocacy Center and has made it one of her life's missions to give voice to the voiceless. Bookout's lifetime of giving has included involvement in Healthy Families advisory board, and the board of the Children Clothing Center. She also has been involved with Retired Senior Volunteer program, the Youth Empowerment Group of Delaware County, United Methodist Women and Gethsemane United Methodist, and has worked with TEAMwork for Quality Living's Eliminating Poverty In the Community program.
Bookout's professional career as education coordinator for Planned Parenthood of East Central Indiana meant she was involved with Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies and its steering committee. At the same time, she became more aware of the problems of adolescent pregnancy. She has headed its adolescent Pregnancy Issue Committee.
Meridian's "whole-person" health initiative integrates physical, mental and social well being to help people achieve their optimum health. The approach is designed to connect treatments and doctors working together to heal both the body and mind for total well-being.

2013 Spirit Winner

Dr. Saber Bahrami

Dr. Saber Bahrami is a remarkable man. Just ask anyone who knows him. Born in Afghanistan, his youth was spent in abject poverty. He was the only one of his mother’s children to survive infancy.

His widowed mother and her brother somehow orchestrated an education for Dr. Bahrami. Once in high school, he eagerly participated in a youth exchange program, spending a year in Missouri.

It was during this time in his life that he managed to get some paid work and, as the story goes, he did not spend even a penny. Instead, he sent it all home to his mother and uncle to help support them.

These kinds of selfless acts would become Dr. Bahrami’s trademark stamp as a physician, philanthropist and friend. He is the 2013 Spirit of Meridian Community winner. Read More »

2012 Spirit Winners

Community Award Winner

David Chastain

Director of Special Services Jay County School Corp.

David Chastain, Director of Special Services at Jay County School Corporation, is our community award winner. Dave is an outstanding representation of a community leader collaborating with Meridian's staff to help grow our school based programs.

Dave has been a very strong supporter and advocate for Meridian Health Services. He implemented a unique alternative school program in Portland, Indiana that integrated educational and behavioral services for children that are unable to tolerate a regular classroom setting.

The program has had great success for these children being able to complete their education and receive critical behavioral services. The success of this program has encouraged other school corporations to implement it and Meridian’s childrens and Connxxions program services with it. Dave has facilitated and promoted Meridian’s school and home based services to four other school corporations that Meridian is now providing services to with a total student population base of 20,000.

If you didn’t know better, you would think Dave worked for Meridian. On a regular basis, Dave opens doors for Meridian with an enthusiasm and passion that opens eyes, ears and hearts to our work. 

Employee Winner

Deceil Moore

Regional Clinical Manager Meridian Health Services

Congratulations again to our very own Deceil Moore for being this year's "Spirit of Meridian" employee award winner.  Deceil's passion and dedication is reflected in all the great things she does for Meridian, her clients and the community.

Deceil has been with Meridian 18 years. She is an Licensed Clinical Social Worker and recognized as an expert in providing mental health treatment for people with the dual diagnosis of intellectual disabilities and mental illness.

Deceil is a founder of Meridian’s Connxxions program that has been providing mental health treatment for  the dual diagnosis population for the past 10 years. The Connxxions program currently serves 23 Indiana counties serving over 800 clients and is now recognized as the leading mental health provider in Indiana for this population. Deceil also educates people on a state and national level by presenting at many seminars on treatments for dual diagnosis.

In each of the several original nominations about Deceil, her giving spirit was touted again and again. Despite her growing responsibilities and  geography, she always finds time to talk about individual cases and to train new people at Meridian. Her passion is noted as deep and real….and is a real inspiration in developing the next levels of leadership at Meridian. 


2011 Spirit Winners

Community Award Winner

Dr. Christina (Tina) Drummond

Medical Director of the Emergency Department
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital

Dr. Drummond is recognized for her commitment and dedication to patient care and as well as her efforts in collaborating with Meridian's inpatient psychiatric program. It is well known in the behavioral health and emergency medical services communities that psychiatric patients pose a significant challenge to hospital emergency departments.

"I believe you can find an exception to this at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, due in large part to the leadership of Dr. Drummond. Dr. Drummond has fostered a culture committed to providing excellent emergency care to psychiatric patients," said Barbara Sells, Meridian's Program Manager at Meridian.

Meridian staff report that all needs of psychiatric patients are appropriately assessed, treated, and managed humanely and creatively.

Employee Winner

Kimberly J. Canan

Behavioral Clinician
Suzanne Gresham Center

A division of Meridian Health Services

"Kim is one of the most resourceful and creative people I have met. She finds a way to get her clients what they she can change their lives," said one nominaiton. "And she treats each of her cases as if they were children of her own."

Most people would not want to take on kids like Kim sees. She works with the most challenging cases, usually kids who are headed to residential treamtent centers. Yet, if you were to meet any of the children with whom Kim has spent time, you would discover kind, respectful, thankful kids who have come to respect their community.

Kim also put three years of 'spare time' effort into creating a 25 foot-long and floor-to-ceiling mural of a park scene at the entrance of Meridian's Suzanne Gresham Center. Designed to make families in need of services more comfortable, the Gresham Center is honored to have Kim's work as a comforting introduction to the building, and reflection of her dedication to helping people cope and giving families hope.

Email, Magazine and News Sign-up

We invite you to sign up to receive special communication from us. This includes email, magazine and news, highlighting the Meridian Health Services events and programs, as well as other special announcements.