The Mignon Waterman Award Recipient

We are proud to announce that Earl B.H. Sutherland, Ph.D. is the recipient of the 2019 Mignon Waterman Award. This award recognizes outstanding innovation and leadership in the behavioral health field. The Bighorn Valley Health Center nominated Dr. Sutherland and will receive the award on his behalf.

“With a restless spirit that befits a disruptive innovator, Dr. Sutherland is always looking for ways to do things better. He has long been both a pioneer and champion for integrating behavioral health and substance abuse treatment into all aspects of primary care. He continues to lead the way for many of us in this region. Additionally, his work over the years in providing a voice to and bolstering the system of care for the most vulnerable members of our society is nothing short of heroic. We are so grateful for his wit, wisdom, and vision, and our patients, families, and communities across the state are better off for having had Earl live and work among us.” 

– David Mark, M.D., Bighorn Valley Health Center CEO

Dr. Sutherland has practiced psychology for over 40 years. He began his career as a school psychologist in Virginia, where he developed screening programs to help elementary students receive early behavioral health interventions. In 2003, Dr. Sutherland relocated to Montana, where he served as the supervisory clinical psychologist for the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Health Service Hospital in Crow Agency. In this position, he created integrated behavioral health, primary health, and substance use disorder programs. He also established consultation services with the Tribal Healing to Wellness Court and developed a child advocacy center.

For the past four years, Dr. Sutherland has served as the Bighorn Valley Health Center Behavioral Health Director. During his time in this role, he created a behavioral health department and expanded services to a second health center. He led his team through a patient-centered medical home certification and was a significant force in developing medication-assisted treatment protocols to address substance use disorders.

Dr. Sutherland continues to share his knowledge and expertise throughout the state. He is a member of the Montana Child Sexual Assault Response Team and the Montana Attorney General Indian Country Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. He also serves on the Children’s Alliance of Montana Board of Directors.

The Mignon Waterman Award is an annual $10,000 award that recognizes outstanding innovation and leadership in the behavioral health field. We created this award in honor of the late Mignon Waterman’s contributions to strengthening the system of care for people struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders. Mignon served as one of the Foundation’s founding trustees and as board secretary from 2013 to 2017. As a trustee, Mignon was a passionate and tireless advocate for behavioral health. Her vision, insight, and commitment played an indispensable role in shaping the Foundation’s strategy, investments, and approach to improving the prevention and treatment of behavioral health problems in Montana.

Dr. Sutherland exemplifies Mignon’s tireless commitment to leadership and innovation in the behavioral health field. It is our honor to grant him and the Bighorn Valley Health Center this award.