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FOR RELEASE: September 6, 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Awards Presented for Child Abuse Prevention Efforts

Awards to recognize two outstanding individuals for their efforts to prevent child abuse were presented at the annual Child Abuse and Neglect Conference on Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Meridian Hotel and Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

Winner of the 2007 Marion Jacewitz Award is Kurt Stoner, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and case agent for the Innocent Images National Initiative (IINI) in Oklahoma City. Stoner is responsible for investigations of certain crimes against children in Oklahoma including online child pornography, enticement of children, and adults traveling to engage in sex with a minor. He is personally responsible for more than 21 convictions and under his direction the IINI task force made 90 arrests, 116 convictions and located 496 child predators. The Marion Jacewitz Award recognizes an individual in Oklahoma who has made significant statewide contributions to the prevention of child abuse, and is named after Marion Jacewitz, Ph.D., a respected leader, friend and child abuse prevention advocate. Jacewitz helped draft and win support for Senate Bill 559, the Child Abuse Prevention Act, enacted in 1984 and presided over Oklahoma’s first State Interagency Child Abuse Prevention Task Force until her death in 1985.

Winner of the 2007 Mary Ellen Wilson Award is Joe Sharpe, with Bright Beginnings and a program supervisor of Child Guidance, Sooner Start and Early Intervention programs in Choctaw, Pushmataha and McCurtain county health departments, before becoming the supervisor of the Cleveland County Early Intervention Program. Over the last 23 years, some of Sharpe’s accomplishments include his efforts to secure the original Office of Child Abuse Prevention grant funding to begin Bright Beginnings. The program trained social workers, day care and school professionals on how to identify, report and prevent child abuse, then later grew to include community outreach and home visitations. In addition, Sharpe was instrumental in developing a Multidisciplinary Child Abuse and Neglect Investigative Team in McCurtain County. The Mary Ellen Wilson

Award is given to recognize an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication to child abuse prevention leadership activities in the community and is named after the child victim in the first successful prosecution of a child abuse case in the 1800s in the State of New York.

“These individuals have shown outstanding commitment and dedication to child abuse prevention efforts in Oklahoma,” said Secretary of Health and State Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Crutcher.

The State Interagency Child Abuse Prevention Task Force and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Office of Child Abuse Prevention sponsored the annual Child Abuse and Neglect Conference and awards presentations.

For more information about ways you can be involved in child abuse prevention programs, contact the OSDH Family Support and Prevention Services Office of Child Abuse Prevention at (405) 271-7611.

Editor’s Note: Two photos attached of award winners.

OOC-Marion Jacewitz Award Winner Kurt Stoner.jpg
Marion Jacewitz Award Winner (on left) is Kurt Stoner, Person on right is Larry Langley - ITF Chairperson who presented the award on behalf of the ITF.

OOC-Mary Ellen Wilson Award Winner Joe Sharpe.jpg
Mary Ellen Wilson Award Winner (on left) is Joe Sharpe, Person on right is Larry Langley - ITF Chairperson who presented the award on behalf of the ITF.

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