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Donovan Award Recipients

The G. Peter Donovan Human Service Award

The G. Peter Donovan Human Service Award is named in memory of our founder who committed 30 years of his life to grow MHSA from a single addiction treatment program in Waltham to the multifaceted agency it is today that serves people from across the Commonwealth as they seek independence from addiction, homelessness, and food insecurity. Sadly, Peter passed away in 2015, just a short time after retiring. His commitment to serving those in need, however, lives on through this award and the 200+ MHSA employees who serve 1,000 individuals a day across our 14 programs.

Peter Donovan headshot

Award Recipients


In 2022, we honored Governor Charlie Baker for his positive impact on human services.  Since the early 1990’s, his work in government and the private sector has given him a unique background and understanding of the world of human services.  He and his administration worked consistently to reduce stigma, increase access to mental health care, and strengthen the human services workforce. His response to COVID-19 was based on science, and the rollout of the vaccine prioritized our clients, staff, and volunteers in human service programs, which saved countless lives.

Charlie Baker


The COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from gathering to honor others with this award in 2020 and 2021.


In 2019, we honored Dr. Jim O’Connell who has served some of the most forgotten members of our community throughout his career at the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program. From street outreach to policy advocacy, Dr O’Connell has improved the health and well-being of countless people who often go unseen by the rest of society.

Dr. Jim O'Connell


In 2018, we honored Michael Botticelli, who throughout his career in Massachusetts and across the nation worked to advance scientific-based best practices in the treatment of addiction. Were it not for his work, we might not have many of the tools we use today to combat the opioid epidemic.

Michael Botticelli