The Blog

Big Bend Community Based Care Awarded Prestigious Sterling Award

Filed under: Awards

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Sterling Council today announced that Big Bend Community Based Care, Community Health of South Florida, Inc., and Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County are recipients of the prestigious Governor's Sterling Award for 2016.

Governor Scott said, “The Governor’s Sterling Award winners reflect our focus of making Florida the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. I am pleased that Florida is leading the nation and I congratulate this year’s top-performing Sterling Award recipients. This award is the highest recognition an organization in Florida can receive for performance excellence. The Governor’s Sterling Award process is an efficient tool for all organizations that saves Florida businesses millions of dollars annually.”

Mike Watkins, CEO of Big Bend Community Based Care said, "Big Bend is honored and humbled to receive the Sterling Award. We commend Governor Scott and the Florida Sterling Council for recognizing the importance of investing in children so that they too can grow in Florida.

Senator Bill Montford of Tallahassee said “I am very proud of the work that Big Bend Community Based Care has done for the families in this area.  They are deserving of this prestigious award and I am happy to congratulate them on this great achievement.”

Representative Alan Williams of Tallahassee said “Big Bend Community Based Care enhances the lives of children from Tallahassee to Pensacola, using the best services that would otherwise not be provided. The leadership of Mike Watkins continues to make Big Bend CBC a premiere organization that meets the critical needs of our most vulnerable population and our greatest gifts, our children.“

These coveted awards will be bestowed at the 2016 Governor's Sterling Award Banquet at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes on Friday, June 3, 2016.

For 24 years, the Governor's Sterling Award has recognized organizations and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.

Big Bend Community Based Care, with 68 employees, serves as the Network Management agency for child welfare (2002) and substance abuse and mental health services (2013) for the 18 counties in Northwest Florida. Big Bend is the first agency in the state to manage both child welfare and behavioral health services. Big Bend’s vision to create local ownership and effective integration of the child welfare and behavioral health systems is resulting in a higher quality of life for children and families, as well as stronger communities. The Big Bend area includes: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington Counties. Big Bend’s results include reducing administrative expenses from 4.40% in FY 2011/2012 to 2.32% by FY 2014/2015 demonstrating their high standards of financial excellence. Big Bend also led the state in strategically prioritizing well-being services for children in foster care. The percent of children receiving timely medical and dental services increased from 96.82% in FY 2013/2014 to 99.1% by FY 2015/2016.

Big Bend Community Base Care is a first time recipient and the first combined Community-Based Care Child Welfare State Lead Agency and Managing Entity to earn the Governor’s Sterling Award.