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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

May 03, 2022

New York State Recognizes Southern Tier Psychiatrist with Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Esteban Fuertes Honored for his Career-Long Commitment to Children’s Mental Health

Albany, NY –New York State is honoring Dr. Esteban Fuertes, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Greater Binghamton Health Center, with the 2022 ‘What’s Great in our State’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Lifetime Achievement award is given annually to recognize professionals and volunteers who have shown a lifetime commitment to strengthening the mental health of children, youth, and families. It includes those who have worked in the development, administration, or delivery of mental health services.

Esteban Fuertes has worked for the Office of Mental Health for over nineteen years. He prioritizes taking a person-centered approach; taking time to explain treatment strategies, listening to the concerns of parents, and encouraging children and youth to find balance. His expertise and “out of the box” thinking has helped improve inpatient treatment at his facility and patients are discharged with strong outpatient plans. He is particularly skilled in recognizing and addressing the complex treatment needs of LGBTQIA+ children and their families.

“Dr. Fuertes shows us ‘What’s Great in Our State’ through his patient-focused care at several of our OMH facilities over the last two decades,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “He is an asset to the Southern Tier community, and we thank him for his hard work and commitment to children’s mental health.”

Fuertes was presented with the award at the annual ‘What’s Great in our State 2022’ event on May 3rd. The celebration recognizes the individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children’s mental health in New York State.

“It’s such an honor to serve the people of New York and I am so grateful for this recognition,” said Dr. Esteban Fuertes. “I've been fortunate to work in many areas of the mental health system, and it has all helped me understand how important the different parts of our system are and how they can all work together to serve the children and families of New York.”


What’s Great in Our State’

The ‘What’s Great in Our State’ event was first launched in 2010 and is held during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a national movement that raises awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. The event features a reading of Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement proclaiming the week as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a ceremony recognizing our honorees, and an art show featuring artwork created by children receiving services from New York State’s mental health system.

The event is sponsored by six New York State agencies and several children’s mental health advocacy organizations: The Office of Mental Health, the Council on Children and Families, the Department of Health, the State Education Department, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, Early Care & Learning Council, Families Together in New York State, Inc., Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness - New York State, New York State Network for Youth Success, Prevent Child Abuse New York, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., and the Suicide Prevention Center of New York.


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