Each candidate for this year’s James R. Ryan Achievement Award will be profiled daily during the voting process.  The comments featured in the finalist profile were submitted as part of the nomination process, and have not been edited or altered by WI-AIMH (except to preserve confidentiality when needed).

For an overview of all finalists, click here.

The winner of the James R. Ryan Achievement Award will be selected by vote.  WI-AIMH Members can use their, emailed, private link to vote for the finalist of their choice.  Interested members will be able to vote until Friday, February 23, 2018.  Each member may cast one vote.

Name: Stephanie Adrihan
Position/Title/Employer: Birth to Three Service Coordinator and Teacher, Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services

Nomination Comments:

Stephanie has been a leader within the agency by taking a lead on our current CAPTA (Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act) pilot project by identifying the target group, providing necessary screens, and providing appropriate interventions to meet the needs of the family. Stephanie has collaborated with the agency’s partner, UW Whitewater in an effort to publish the current project, findings, and recommendations. Stephanie has presented at the Infant Mental Health Conference in June 2017, Wisconsin Inclusion Institute Conference, Circles of Life, and at the Division of Early Childhood 32nd Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families in October 2016. The conferences detailed the current pilot project procedures, assessment tools that are being utilized and preliminary results from the project. Stephanie has been sought out to provide resources and information to other programs on the implementation of this pilot to other county Birth to Three programs.

Stephanie Adrihan

Stephanie has taken a lead within the agency’s Trauma Informed Care Committee with a specific focus on training and partnering with childcare agencies in an effort to provide education on trauma, children’s behaviors, coaching and modeling techniques to be utilized within these settings in an effort to decrease preschool expulsion rates. Stephanie has been a member of the Early Learning Network in Walworth County since 2007, where she has partnered with community members in providing events and education for community members and child care providers.


Stephanie is a member of the Division of Early Childhood, Family Council since March 2017. Stephanie has been a member of this national group working toward policy changes and providing professional development within the field. Stephanie has looked to ensure parents voices are heard through the proposed policies that are being voted on.

Stephanie was recently trained in the PiWi model and is looking to partner with the local Head Start to provide this training to families within Walworth County.

Stephanie’s passion and knowledge base for children with mental health diagnosis is evident in her day to day practice with the families she serves and the outreach she provides to the community. Stephanie has been an asset to the agency in providing tools and resources to complete the pilot project, and has continued to work toward educating the greater community on the importance of infant mental health.

About the James R. Ryan Achievement Award

James R. Ryan

The James R. Ryan Achievement Award is given by the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH) to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the social-emotional development of infants, young children and their families within a Wisconsin community, thus demonstrating a commitment to the mission and vision of WI-AIMH:

Vision: We aim for all Wisconsin infants and young children to reach their fullest potential through nurturing and consistent relationships within the context of family, community, and culture.

Mission: WI-AIMH strives to promote infant mental health through building awareness, promoting professional capacity, fostering partnerships and supporting policies in the best interest of infants, young children and their families.