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Child Abuse Prevention Awards Honorees Announced

Thursday, April 13, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) honored five individuals and programs across the state for their outstanding commitment, dedication and leadership in child abuse prevention at an annual awards ceremony held on April 11 at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

“Child abuse prevention is a critical piece to building healthy communities,” said Lorri Essary, director of the Family Support and Prevention Service at the OSDH. “The work of those we honored at the ceremony is inspiring and is important for the future.”

The 2023 Oklahoma Child Abuse Prevention Award winners are:

  • Gena Higginbotham, RN - Julie L. Bonner Nurse Home Visitor Award (District 7 County Health Dept.)
  • Fanchon Barryman - Outstanding Home Visitor Award (Parent Promise, OKC)
  • The Parent Child Center of Tulsa’s Youth Programs - Outstanding Child Abuse Prevention Program Award (The Parent Child Center, Tulsa)
  • Kim Berger – Mary Ellen Wilson Award (Parent Promise, OKC)
  • Rhonda Hudson - Mildred Ramsey Community Innovation Award (Ray of Hope Advocacy Center, Bartlesville)

According to the CDC, about one in seven children experienced child abuse and neglect in the last year.

 “Child maltreatment is a significant public health issue that has lifelong repercussions for those impacted,” said Essary. “By promoting safe, stable and nurturing environments and relationships for Oklahoma’s children, you are helping to reverse those trends and elevate the long-term quality of life for all Oklahomans.”

To learn more about the OSDH Office of Child Abuse Prevention click here.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at