10/22/06 — O'Berry Center technician receives honor from state

View Archive

O'Berry Center technician receives honor from state

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 22, 2006 2:05 AM

Curtis Graham, a health care technician at O'Berry Center, has been presented the State Employees' Award for Excellence for outstanding state government service.

The award is the highest honor given to a state em-ployee. Cer-emonies were held Monday afternoon in Raleigh. Graham was one of 15 recipients for the honor, which was the only one received by an employee of the N.C. State Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Frank Farrell, O'Berry Center director, said that Graham's demeanor was one of the reasons Graham was nominated for recognition.

"Curtis is one of those individuals who has the unique ability to work with people with challenging behaviors. He has a calming effect on them, just a gentle way," Farrell said.

"We're just so fortunate to have him as one of our employees here. I feel like we're blessed to have him here."

Jerry Phillips, Cluster 6 administrator, nominated Graham for the award. He said Graham has an even, calm temperament, making him a wonderful employee.

"He works well with other people. He's very deserving of this award," Phillips said.

"In the last year, we have experienced a lot of admissions of people in crisis behaviorally. The community has been unable to manage them.

"Curtis is one of the first to step up and work with these people. He has been willing to go out with them in their community homes and help them adjust back to their community settings."

Graham has been employed by the state for nearly 28 years, Phillips said.

The State Employees' Awards for Excellence program is designed to acknowledge and express appreciation for outstanding accomplishments. In addition to the outstanding state government category, awards were presented for innovations, public service, safety and heroism and human relations.