Community leader receives Rural Health Hero of the Year Award

November 16, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Stacie Huber, director of child and adolescent and adult partial hospitalization programs at the Community Guidance Center, received the 2018 Rural Health Hero of the Year Award, presented by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) at a Nov. 15 ceremony at the Community Guidance Center in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

The award was presented during Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania, Nov. 12-16, by Lisa Davis, director of PORH and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State. The week encompasses Nov. 15, which is National Rural Health Day, established in 2011 by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

The Rural Health Hero of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding leader in the area of rural health who demonstrates a personal and professional commitment to the rural health needs of a community.

The nomination, submitted by the Community Guidance Center’s grant writer, Mia McMillen, recognized Huber for her lifelong commitment to providing mental health services to families and children in the most desperate and trying times of their lives. Huber has 16 years of providing mental health treatment services and more than 12 years as a supervisor of mental health programs in Indiana and surrounding counties.

In her current role, Huber works with school districts to identify and provide treatment to students who have been diagnosed with mental illness and removed from their home schools. Through appropriate mental health treatment, students successfully return to their home school. Huber has expanded mental health services to school districts outside of the Indiana community as well, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to receive appropriate treatment. She transformed the structure of services provided, which separates students into appropriate age groups and classroom sizes, resembling a traditional school setting.

Huber also introduced new and innovative forms of mental health therapy into practice, including drum therapy, sensory therapy, wellness, holistic health and mindfulness into child, adolescent and adult services.

In addition to her work at the Community Guidance Center, Huber devotes time to volunteering in the Indiana community, including the Indiana County Children's Advocacy Center, the Indiana County Crisis Intervention Stress Management team, is the co-chair for the Children's Advisory Commission of Indiana County, the Suicide Taskforce of Indiana County, and serves as a trainer on "Talk Saves Lives” for the taskforce’s prevention sub-committee. She is a guest lecturer at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in which she speaks to graduate students about community mental health to provide education and prepare students for work in a community-based setting.

Huber has been recognized as the Indiana County Healthcare Worker of the Year and the 2015 Woman Making a Difference. She was lauded for her commitment to the empowerment of individuals who suffer from mental illness, her dedication to families and issues related to parenting, and her attention to the specific mental and behavioral health needs of children.

PORH, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Penn State, was established in 1991 to enhance the health status of rural Pennsylvanians and strengthen the delivery and quality of care in the communities in which they live. Each year, the organization presents awards to recognize rural health programs and individuals who have made substantial contributions to rural health in Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, visit  

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 19, 2018