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

May 27, 2021

OMH Recognizes Bernadette Kingham-Bez for Service to the Community with Commissioner’s Community Care Awards

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is recognizing the work and commitment of Bernadette Kingham-Bez, Executive Director of St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester and Senior Vice President of Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, and is naming her a recipient of the annual OMH Commissioner’s Community Care Awards for 2021.

These awards are given during May – Mental Health Awareness Month – to recognize the extraordinary achievements of individuals and organizations who have furthered the OMH mission and made a positive contribution to the mental health system in their communities.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan, said, “OMH is fortunate to have many great partners across the State who are helping us reshape state and local mental health systems by enhancing community-based services and improving the delivery of care and health outcomes for consumers.  Bernadette Kingham-Bez has been an exceptional partner and a great leader at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Saint Joseph’s Medical Center. She works closely with other partners in the community and has demonstrated extraordinary commitment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, during which she worked to ensure that every client received the services they needed.”

Ms. Kingham-Bez said, “I am very pleased to receive this recognition. OMH’s support, partnership and guidance has enabled our behavioral health team to creatively respond to community needs with new programs and residential services despite many challenges during the past few years.”

Prior to assuming her current role in 2009, Ms. Kingham-Bez served as a Senior Vice President at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers where her responsibilities included strategic planning, external affairs and community health outreach.  Prior to that she served as Vice President of St. Vincent’s Westchester where she oversaw operations, external affairs, business development and managed care. 

Ms. Kingham-Bez’s has also served as vice president of the Westchester and Putnam United Way and as the executive director of several community-based organizations

Ms. Kingham-Bez currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. She has had a leadership role in the founding of Hudson Valley Care Coalition (HVCC), a regional health home, and serves on its Board. She also serves as Secretary of the Board of Montefiore’s Hudson Valley IPA.

The Community Care Awards were created in 2019 to highlight OMH’s partners and stakeholders in local communities across the State that are helping to identify and eliminate gaps in services, and are working to build strong community-based behavioral healthcare systems.  Input from these local partners helps OMH better understand regional needs and implement programs that will help people on the road to recovery from mental illness live their lives with a greater degree of independence and dignity.

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