PITTSBURGH, PA – Pressley Ridge, an international provider of services for children and families, has named Dr. Frank A. Fecser, chief executive officer (CEO) of Positive Education Program (PEP) in Ohio, the winner of its 2008 Annual Achievement Award.
“Frank was chosen for his lifelong commitment to serve children and families, using the principles of Re-EDucation (Re-ED),” said Dr. Finnell. “PEP is one of twenty agencies in the nation, like Pressley Ridge, that uses Re-ED to guide its work with children and youth on a daily basis.”
Re-ED (Re-Education of Emotionally Disturbed Children) is a dynamic, strength-based, family-centered approach for working with children and youth with severe emotional disturbance. It was developed in the early 1960s by Dr. Nicholas Hobbs of Vanderbilt University at the request of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). NIMH was seeking a new paradigm for the treatment of children with severe emotional disturbance that would be both highly accessible and cost effective.
Dr. Fecser received the award during Pressley Ridge’s annual board dinner on September 22. The dinner was held at the organization’s corporate headquarters, 5500 Corporate Drive.
Started in 1981, Pressley Ridge’s Annual Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to the welfare of children and families. Past recipients include the late Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy and Pressley Ridge honorary board member, Lilian Hall Fisher.
As CEO of PEP, Dr. Fecser directs and manages the work of the largest nonprofit child-serving organization in Northeast Ohio. PEP, with an annual budget of nearly $50 million, is nationally-recognized for its delivery of integrated special education and mental health services to troubled and troubling children and their families.
“Frank has been a strong and effective leader, not only at the Positive Education Program in Cleveland, Ohio, but also in his role as a board member and past president of the American Re-EDucation Association (AREA),” said Mark Freado, executive director of AREA. “His colleagues in AREA are pleased and proud that he is receiving this recognition.”
In addition to leading PEP, Dr. Fecser’s work includes consulting with child-focused programs across the country, developing day treatment models and conducting statewide training institutes for teachers, special educators and mental health professionals. He is the co-founder of the Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) Institute, an advanced therapeutic strategy for working with challenging youth and is co-author of the book entitled, “Talking with Students in Conflict.”
He also received the Woodruff Prize last year for his outstanding leadership in the field of mental health; was one of 16 recipients of the Hearts of Hope award given by Beech Brook in participation with The Plain Dealer; and the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Spirit of Crazy Horse Award, an award given by Reclaiming Youth International to those who bring courage to the discouraged through their outstanding contributions to children and youth.