Beacon of Light Award

The Beacon of Light award is given to honor those patients who are inspiring examples of living a full and successful life with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder. They are living proof that treatment works and mental illness does not have to be debilitating. 

First awarded in 2008, the Beacon of Light honor was developed by CHI Health Immanuel President Ann Schumacher and Behavioral Health Services leadership at the time. Patient Care Council employee-members choose a patient to represent each area of the CHI Health behavioral services system. 

Ken grew up in the "perfect" family but always felt like the square peg trying to fit in the round hole. He has several mental health diagnoses and credits humor for getting him through his childhood, a bout of homelessness, and today. As a peer support specialist, Ken allows patients the opportunity to be with someone who has been through similar experiences and gives them hope. He loves seeing the patients laugh and smile, and he loves playing a role in their recovery.