Conference Awards

 Call for Award Nominations

Selma Fraiberg, Betty Tableman, Hiram E. Fitzgerald
and Deborah J. Weatherston Awards

We, who have been called to work with infants, young children and their families, have established four awards to honor the contributions that Selma Fraiberg, Betty Tableman, Hiram E. Fitzgerald and Deborah J. Weatherston have made to the promotion of infant mental health in Michigan and around the world.

The four awards are presented in recognition of extraordinary service in three separate categories – service, policy and research. This year, the awards will be presented at the 42nd MI-AIMH Biennial Conference, “Nurturing Connections,” May 9 – 11, 2022, to be held virtually.
The Selma Fraiberg Award is given to an individual and/or group in recognition of outstanding contributions to Michigan infants/young children and their families in the areas of direct service delivery, program administration, and/or training.
The Betty Tableman Award recognizes public actions that promote the welfare of infants/young children and their families.  Legislators, other officials, advocates, members of the media, foundation directors, and other citizens not professionally involved in service delivery may be honored by this award for their contributions.
The Hiram E. Fitzgerald Award is given to an emerging scholar/researcher who is committed to strengthening relationships between infants/young children and their families.  This award will be given to recognize an individual and/or group whose research is innovative and dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for infants/young children and their families.
The Deborah J. Weatherston Promising Practitioner Award is given to an early career infant mental health practitioner who has demonstrated a commitment to infants/young children and their families and whose work reflects the relationship-based tenets that serve as the foundation of MI-AIMH’s competencies and practice standards.​​
We invite all who are involved in work with infants/young children and families to carefully consider nominees who exemplify the work of Selma Fraiberg, Betty Tableman’s advocacy efforts, Hiram E. Fitzgerald’s dedication to research and scholarship in the field of infant mental health, and Deborah J. Weatherston’s commitment to working with infants/young children and their families.  Each award recognizes Michigan professionals who support the health and welfare of infants/young children and their families.

Criteria for Award Nominations

Interdisciplinary in membership, MI-AIMH encourages nominations from a variety of areas:  mental health, infant and early childhood, special education, social services, public health, colleges and universities, hospitals, the legislature, etc.
Several criteria have been identified by which nominees’ contributions to the promotion of infant mental health are evaluated:

  • Commitment to the enhancement of the quality of life for infants young children and families;
  • Initiation and/or facilitation of change;
  • Mentorship of others;
  • Publications and/or presentations;
  • Policy formation, analysis and/or implementation
  • Innovation
  • Leadership and/or contributions to Michigan based local/state IMH association

 Steps to Nominate:

  1. Identify the person you wish to nominate for the specific award;
  2. Provide a narrative account of the reasons why this person should receive the award. Include the nominee’s contributions, using the criteria outlined above to guide you;
  3. Include a vita, resume or biographical sketch of the nominee;
  4. Include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three individuals who will serve as references and endorse the nomination.  The Awards Subcommittee may choose to follow up with these individuals for additional information about your nomination (a minimum of one reference will be contacted).

Nominations must be completed and turned in before the deadline to be considered. The deadline for submission is December 6, 2021  Please email your submission to

2019 Award Winners

The Selma Fraiberg Award
This award honors the legacy of Selma Fraiberg who pioneered relationship-based services for infants, toddlers and their families. The 2019 Selma Fraiberg award is presented to Karol Wilson, LMSW, IMH-E®(IV).  Karol Wilson’s experience in Infant Mental Health began in 1992 when she interned at Children’s Center’s Special Beginnings Infant Mental Health Program. Karol’s 20 years plus years in the field includes administrative duties, group and individual reflective supervision and consultation. Karol has provided trainings on attachment, infant mental health, diversity and talking with parents about tackling challenging conversations. She has worked as an Infant Mental Health Specialist in Grand Rapids and later at St. Joseph Mercy as an Intake Specialist in the Healthy Start Program. Karol was one of the first Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health Diversity Fellows and the first African American to achieve endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Mentor.

Karol has co-authored an article in press for the Reflective Practice Journal Titled “The Importance of Examining Diversity in Reflective Supervision When Working with Young Children and Their Families”.  She also co-authored an article that appeared in the Infant Mental Health Journal “Implementation of the PICCOLO in Infant Mental Health Practice: A Case Study” and presented  this case study in Edinburgh Scotland. Karol also co-wrote an Attachment and Child Development resource guide to illustrate secure and insecure attachments for Michigan State University Students. She has co-presented a poster demonstrating the Effectiveness of Infusing Infant Mental Health with additional services to support at risk families at the Zero to Three Conference in San Antonio Texas, and on Reflective Supervision for Supervisors in San Diego California. Karol has collaborated with Wayne State University and MI-AIMH to co-present workshops in Prague and Italy.

Currently, Karol co-supervises the Infant Mental Health home visiting program, “Partnering with Parents” at Starfish Family Services. She has served on the Metro Detroit Infant Mental Health board and the Racial Equity Committee at Starfish.

The Betty Tableman Award

The Betty Tableman award recognizes public actions that promote the welfare of infants and their families.  The 2019 Tableman award is presented to Carrie Banks Patterson, MA, LMSW. Carrie has established expertise in the provision of mental health services to children, adolescents and their families. Her career has included a depth of experiences in research, direct clinical services, administration and consultation. She was the Chief Social Worker for the Detroit Psychiatric Hospital’s Children’s Services for many years. When the hospital closed, Ms. Banks Patterson was hired as the Child/Adolescent Specialist Consultant for the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency’s Psychiatric Services and then became Director of Network Administration in Managed Care Operations. After a brief retirement, she returned to Wayne County government as a consultant developing and coordinating the Children’s Initiatives for Detroit-Wayne County CMH Agency. She currently consults at several community mental health agencies throughout Wayne and Oakland Counties and has served on the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Board of Directors since 2014 and the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health since 2016.

The Hiram E. Fitzgerald Award  

The 2019 Fitzgerald award is presented to Carla Barron, LMSW, IMH-E®(IV).  Carla, has been working as an infant mental health specialist since obtaining her MSW in 1996, providing home and center based services to infants, toddlers and their families in the areas of child welfare, early education and mental health.  She has post-graduate training in infant mental health from Wayne State University and an endorsement by the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health as an IMH clinical mentor.  She has provided training on a variety of topics related to home visiting, the psychology of early parenting, reflective supervision, and social work ethics.

Currently, she is the Clinical Coordinator for the Infant Mental Health Program at the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute at Wayne State University.  In this role, she co-facilitates an infant mental health seminar with advanced dual-title students and works closely with faculty and community agency supervisors to support student growth and learning, including the development of student evaluation measures.  Along with working with IMH dual-title students, she coordinates data collection and facilitates teacher professional development groups and parent education groups for the Hearts and Minds on Babies research study.  Additionally, she co-developed a behavioral coding scheme for a baby-cry observation protocol used in the Baby on Board research study.

In 2013, Carla began her doctoral studies in Social Work at Wayne State University.  Her dissertation research is focused on the experience of reflective supervision from the supervisee’s perspective.  She obtained a beginning scholar grant from the American Psychoanalytic Association to complete a qualitative and quantitative study of this topic, adding to the empirical research on the impact of reflective supervision on the practice and development of infant mental health professionals.  Carla has co-authored a number of publications on reflective supervision, home visiting, and early parenting.

Carla is also married and has two children, a 17 year old daughter and a 14 year old son, who have taught her so much about the centrality of relationships in our lives and the importance of considering the connection between personal and professional experiences. 

The Deborah J. Weatherston Promising Practitioner Award

The Deborah J. Weatherston Promising Practitioner is designed to celebrate and recognize early career infant mental health practitioners.  This award is given to an early career infant mental health practitioner who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to infants, toddlers, and their families and whose work embodies the spirit of the relationship-based tenets that serve as the foundation of MI-AIMH’s competencies and practice standards.​​ The 2019 award is presented to Tricia Drenth, MS, RN, IMH-E®(I).

Tricia grew up in Charlevoix, the youngest of five children. Her father was a school administrator and her mother a school teacher. Tricia graduated from Charlevoix High School and attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and remained in Ann Arbor after graduation, working at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. During this time Tricia also went back to school and earned a Master of Science degree with a focus in Community Care Nursing. She also received a certificate in International Health and Social Development and was afforded the opportunity of an internship working with the rural health system and indigenous population in Queensland, Australia.

A family loss brought Tricia back to her hometown. Several professional experiences followed, including work as a nurse in the ICU at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, a public health nurse in Family and Community Health at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, an adjunct nursing instructor at North Central Michigan College, and a nurse on the general medical-surgical floor at Munson Charlevoix Area Hospital. And there were major personal experiences, including meeting her husband, having two boys, and being a stay-at-home mother for a couple of years, which has been the most challenging job yet!

In 2015 the opportunity to manage a new home visiting program at the health department brought Tricia back to her true passion of public health. She worked alongside other staff members to develop, implement and evaluate a ten county (now 12 county wide) Healthy Families America (HFA) home visiting program, with the primary focus of preventing child abuse and neglect. This program management experience was instrumental in preparing Tricia for her current position as a Family Health Supervisor within the health department.

Tricia was introduced to Infant Mental Health through the HFA model, as well as through a good friend working in the field. Tricia has always felt drawn to the “social work side of nursing,” and has found herself especially drawn to Infant Mental Health and the impacts on home visiting and the local communities she and her colleagues serve. She hopes this is just the beginning of her IMH journey as she works to expand Reflective Supervision within her agency as well as across home visiting in the northern Michigan region.

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