El Paso County’s Chris Garvin was given the Pat Lysinger Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness at the annual Stepping Into the Light breakfast on May 3. Julie Krow, Department of Human Services Executive Director, presented the award to the Board of County Commissioners on.
Garvin is the Deputy Executive Director of the Department of Human Services for El Paso County. His career in county social work spans 34 years, including 24 years with El Paso County. He served on the NAMI board of directors for six years.
“Under his leadership NAMI’s budget grew tenfold and programs tripled. It made NAMI a much better place because of his contributions. And he has always been dedicated to helping those who fall through the cracks,” Julie Krow said. “I’m just proud to have Chris as the Deputy Executive Director of DHS and proud of all of the contributions that he makes. He does a great job for the children, youth and families we serve and I just want everyone to know about his award.”
Garvin said, “NAMI is a great resource for this community. It helps me do a good job for this county having it as a resource in my toolkit. I’m so appreciative of the NAMI service I did and how it helped our constituents and clients at DHS.”
“NAMI is about families coming together to help families that have experienced the mental health systems. And they know how it works. They are able to use that experience to help others,” Garvin said. “We live in a very compassionate community.”
Commissioner Stan VanderWerf said, “This award is a testament, to not just you, but the awesome staff at the Department of Human Services. An award winning staff. I think it is fantastic that you reach out to these organizations so that they can be resources to us.”
“I continue to be so impressed by our DHS staff,” said Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez, Jr. “People like both of you (Garvin and Krow) setting the example, setting the bar high, for others to see. The staff sees that. I think it motivates them.”