Glenwood Springs mental health care trailblazer named 2020-21 ATHENA award recipient
Sharon Raggio’s dedication to helping those with mental health issues and substance abuse disorders spans four decades, fueled by her passion and commitment to ensure everyone in Colorado has access to affordable and quality mental health care.
For that, and her mentorship of many women within the mental health care industry, Raggio was named the 2020-21 ATHENA Award recipient, given annually by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
“I usually don’t get overwhelmed, but I’m very overwhelmed at this moment,” Raggio said during Tuesday’s award luncheon at the Hotel Colorado.
“Clearly I stand in an amazing stead with that long list of other recipients of this award.”
The ATHENA Award program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives, said Tillie Fischer, the 1997 recipient of the award and revered member of the Glenwood Springs community.
Raggio led Mind Springs Health as its president and CEO since 2008, said Maurine Taufer, the 2019 recipient.
“In 2018, under her helm, a new state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital opened in Grand Junction — the only facility of its kind between Denver and Salt Lake City,” Taufer said.
“Under her leadership, she has cultivated and mentored many women in the mental health industry,” Love said.
Claire Noone, a Glenwood Springs attorney, is this year’s ATHENA Young Professional award recipient.
Since summer 2018, Noone has provided pro bono asylum work to help immigrants on the Mexico/Texas border navigate the proper channels to citizenship.
Noone currently works as an attorney with her father, Bob Noone, in Glenwood Springs.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Noone said, quoting Martin Luther King Jr.
“It is us who do the bending. This does not happen on its own. It is not some wonderful, miraculous superhero that comes in to make these changes. It is every member of the community stepping up and doing a little unmiraculous thing.”
Kirstie Ennis, the keynote speaker for this year’s award luncheon, used her life’s experiences to exemplify the power of community and resilience.
“What I have been through has been a blessing and a curse,” Ennis said.
A former Marine Corps sergeant, Ennis suffered numerous injuries while serving in Afghanistan in June 2012. The injuries resulted in 41 surgeries and the amputation of her leg.
“Failure is a part of life. Failure is what empowers us to be the best version of ourselves,” Ennis said. “Those same moments that I feared during my recovery ended up being the best moments of my life. So now, I can’t stop. Better yet, you won’t stop me. I want to show the world that anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it.”
Ennis said she wasn’t telling her story of tremendous suffering and loss for pity or accolades.
“I’d love to sit here in front of you today and tell you that I did this by myself, and I’m the strong one. That is simply not true,” Ennis said. “We’re as strong as the people we surround ourselves by.”
Without the support from the Roaring Fork Valley community, Ennis said she may not be where she is today.
“I moved here four years ago — no friends, no family, and you guys have built me up and really been a part of my journey and made me who I am. So thank you.”
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or email@example.com.
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