Nebraska Families Collaborative has recognized Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) CEO Karen Authier and Ruth Henrichs, president and CEO of Lutheran Family
Services of Nebraska with the first Champion for Kids and Families Lifetime Service Award. The recognition came at the NFC Championship Luncheon held on Thursday, August 17, 2017 with featured speaker Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas.
“Karen and Ruth have done so much in strengthening families and ensuring that Nebraska is a great place for children to grow up and thrive,” said David Newell, NFC president and CEO. “We wanted to take this opportunity to recognize their contributions.”
Authier, a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner, has more than 30 years of experience in program development and replication, mental health services, and child welfare programs both nationally and in Nebraska. She has served at Lutheran Family Services, The Partners Network, Inc., Father Flanagan’s Boys Home, University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as well as maintaining a private mental health practice. Authier also serves on the Nebraska Child Death Review Team, has received numerous awards for her outstanding leadership in the field, was appointed by the Governor to the Nebraska Children's Commission and has presented numerous times at national conferences regarding child welfare and mental health.
Henrichs has served as president & CEO of Lutheran Family Services (LFS) of Nebraska (LFS) since 1984. Under her leadership, LFS has developed programs of immigration and refugee services, integrated health care, AmeriCorps volunteer services, mental health and substance use treatment, foster care, treatment for children who have been sexually abused, At Ease services for veterans, active military and their loved ones; and early intervention/prevention services for young parents at Centers for Healthy Families® in Fremont, North Omaha, and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Henrichs is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Services in America, one of the largest networks of human service organizations in the United States. She has also chaired the national Board of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the Immanuel Board here in Omaha.
Both women have announced their retirements. Henrichs will retire December 31, 2017 and Authier will retire on September 30, 2017.