Advocacy Award

Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award

Congratulations to the 2014 Award Recipient: Elaine Shiver

E_Shiver_10.11 (1)Elaine Shiver serves as the State Leader for Texas Parents as Teachers, an international program for parents of children ages prenatal to five.  Sponsored by Mental Health America of Texas and provided through various school districts and community organizations throughout the state, Parents as Teachers has received strong support from foundations, corporations and other community organizations.

Ms Shiver has been an advocate for children’s services as staff member and volunteer for over forty years.  She has a Master of Science Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington with an emphasis in Administration and Planning, was previously a Program Director with the Department of Human Services in Protective Services to Children, and has served twenty eight years in her current position.   She is a National Trainer for Parents as Teachers, and chairs the State Leader Advisory Council.

Present and past board positions include the Parents as TeachersNationalCenter, the Dallas Child Guidance Clinic, The ARC of Dallas, Mental Health Association of Dallas, the Mental Health Association in Texas, Dallas Suicide and Crisis Center, and Texas Association for Infant Mental Health.  She has also been a member of advisory boards for the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of North Texas, the Dana Center/University of Texas, and BaylorUniversity; and she  has served on the Central Allocations Committee of the United Way of Dallas.

Ms. Shiver is a native of the High Plains area of Texas, from a farming and ranching family.  She is a mother of three grown children that all live in the state, and she enjoys travel, horseback riding, researching family history, and reading.

A Brief History

The Infant Mental Health Advocacy Council was formed in 1989 and established the T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award in 1990. This award is in honor of Dr. Brazelton, a Texas native and well known national and international pediatrician, researcher, author and advocate for parents, infants and toddlers. The award has already been given to ten individuals at the biennial Infant Mental Health Advocacy Conference. Each award winner has made significant contributions to the improvement of mental health in the lives of infants, toddlers and their families in Texas.

TAIMH’s Infant Mental Health Advocacy Council objective is to bring together a diverse group of Texas professional organizations to collaborate in the process of seeking nominations for and selecting, when there is a nominee who meets the objective criteria, the Biennial T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award Winner. The award will be presented at the April 2014 conference.


Previous Advocacy Award Recipients

  • 1992 – Stella Mullins, Director of Mental Health
    Association of Texas, for her work in bringing state agencies
    together to establish the Texas Children’s Mental Health
  • 1994 – Jeanette Watson for her work with the state
    legislature, governors and other public officials on behalf
    of infants, children and families.
  • 1996 – Elaine Ellis, a pediatrician whose commitment
    to excellence helped to develop a neonatal developmental
    program at Medical Center of Plano’s Neonatal Intensive
    Care Unit.
  • 1998 – Carol Wheeler-Liston for her efforts toward
    the adoption of the DC:0-3 for use by the Texas Mental Health
    Mental Retardation system, and for community efforts raising
    awareness of and developing services to meet infant mental
    health needs in Denton.
  • 2000 – Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist and researcher
    whose ground-breaking work in bio-behavioral outcomes for
    children who have experience abuse and neglect and
    innovative treatment options for these children. In addition,
    for his public education efforts and consultations to minimize
    the impact of neglect and abuse of infants and
  • 2000 – Sonya Lopez received a “Special Recognition
    Award” for her work with families and professionals in the
    field of Infant Mental Health.
  • 2002 – Elizabeth Heyne for her work in establishing
    a non-profit intervention and support program for families with
    low birth weight infants in a underserved population of
  • 2004 – Ernest Gotts for a lifetime of work
    disseminating information and raising awareness about the
    importance of infant mental health. In addition, for his
    leadership to TAIMH in the development of its continuing
    education programs.
  • 2008 – David M. Munson for his work improving
    the training of childcare workers that serve underprivileged
    babies and young children. He founded Educational First Steps
    to support these childcare centers.
  • 2008 – Karyn Purvis for her impact on adoption,
    child welfare and family court systems through her work as the
    Director of the Texas Christian University Institute of
    Development as well as with TexConnects.
  • 2010 – Justice Harriett O’Neill for her actions to
    improve outcomes for families involved in the child protective
    service system through judicial leadership. Through her
    leadership the Supreme Court established the Permanent Judicial
    Commission for Children, Youth and Families.
  • 2012 – Judge John Specia for being a driving force behind successful projects which focus on assisting courts and identifying best practices to improve outcomes of safety, permanency and well-being of Texas’ most vulnerable children and families.

Please Note: In 2006, an IMH Advocacy Conference was not held, thus,
an award was not given.