Community honors RISE Award winners

More than 200 guests gathered at the Phoenix Airport Marriott to recognize the 2017 RISE Awards winners and honor the recipient of the RISE Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mercy Maricopa received many nominations for the awards, and each one told the story of a selfless individual, an inspiring leader and a provider that fosters leadership, resilience and recovery. There are many in our community who are working to make the lives of other people better. The RISE Awards are about celebrating their great ideas. They’re about thanking them for their dedication. And, about honoring them for their hard work.

Media personality Kim Covington served as mistress of ceremonies for the April 20 event. Christian Moher, CMO Assurance Health and Wellness, delivered an engaging keynote address, “Love Dares You.” 

Local artists at PSA Art Awakenings handcrafted very special award statues. The recipients of the RISE Lifetime Achievement Award and six award winners received the beautiful art pieces.

2017 RISE Lifetime Achievement Award Gary Brennan has dedicated his life to behavioral health. Over the past three decades, he has held leadership positions at Camelback Hospitals, Samaritan Health System, Full Circle of AZ, CareNow Arizona, Prehab (now A New Leaf), Quality Care Network and Touchstone. Gary retired on February 1, yet he continues to be a trusted advisor to behavioral health administrators and serve on several boards.

2017 RISE Award Winners

Individuals - adults

  • Leadership and Advocacy: Thomas Hutchinson
  • Health and Wellness: Gayle Martin

Individuals – transition-age youth

  • Leadership and Advocacy: Sarah (Cheyenne) Runnerstorm
  • Health and Wellness: Gabriel Maytorena 


  • Leadership and Advocacy: Crisis Response Network
  • Health and Wellness: Dr. Robin Blitz

Read the winners' bios and stories at Mercy Maricopa's RISE Award page. Just click on "2017 RISE Award Winners and Nominees"