December 17, 2018
Pinehurst, NC (December 6, 2018). In honor of long-time advocate and MH/IDD/SUD professional Sally Cameron’s retirement from the NC Psychological Association, the i2i Center for Integrative Health honored her years of tireless work, advocacy and commitment to those served in the public MH/IDD/SUD system with a Lifetime Advocacy Award.
i2i’s Executive Director Mary Hooper remarked to the crowd of about 200 professionals gathered together saying, “I seriously doubt that there’s anyone in this room who doesn’t know Sally, but if you’re out there, about all I can say is ‘welcome to North Carolina’ because you must be brand new to our state! Sally is and has been a force in the MH/IDD/SUD system for
many years, and she’s been making her mark since she arrived here with her husband Jim in 1970.”
Cameron’s career began at the then NC Department of Mental Health as Assistant PR Director for DD—raising awareness about developmental disabilities; she then moved on as the department’s legislative liaison and even managed community mental health construction grants for the department. Hooper added, “And some of you may also know that Sally served as
Executive Director of the Mental Health Association for several years prior to moving to her current position as Executive Director of the NC Psychological Association in 1981, where her leadership and talents are enormously respected.”
Describing her advocacy and role in establishing some of NC’s premier statewide organizations, Hooper said, “Along the way she’s worked with a list of noteworthy movers and shakers too lengthy to mention, and the relationships she developed were integral in starting a number of important groups and organizations including the The Coalition – serving numerous years as
Coalition Chair – as well as playing a key role in the establishment of our own legacy organization, the NC Council of Community Programs.
Hooper went on to say, “What really stands out across all of her work is Sally’s commitment to public sector service and her dedication to the individuals and families who rely on our MH/IDD/SUD system every day for critical services. The importance of this mission is what’s kept her in this business her entire career.”
Cameron outlined what she believes are her greatest accomplishments over the years, noting Mental Health Parity that was achieved in the State Health Plan in 1989-90 (a success that was eventually modelled all over the country) and Mental Health Parity in 2008 “Because it took 15 long years and we never gave up even though it was such a hard fought battle!” Lastly, she
identified the fact that these efforts brought together different groups stating, “We came together in both of instances of Mental Health Parity to make something really important happen. I think that’s what I’m most proud of overall. That we can come together to make things happen for people.”
About i2i Center for Integrative Health
The mission of the i2i Center is to foster collaborative and evidence-based initiatives for improving the quality and efficacy of the behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use care and support services systems within a comprehensive system of whole person care. The i2i Center accomplishes its mission by: convening stakeholders; strategizing solutions and activating change.