The Staunton Farm Foundation announced Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski is the recipient of the Albert B. Craig, Jr. Award for Innovation in Behavioral Health. Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski, is founder and president of The Academy for Adolescent Health Teen Outreach in Washington, PA.
For over 30 years, Dr. Podgurski has dedicated herself to improving the lives of adolescents’ health and prevention. She believes everyone has worth and potential. Her programs educated more than 250,000 students in Washington, Greene and Fayette Counties with in-school programs teaching youth about self-respect, respect for all, human sexuality, and teen pregnancy. Her newspaper column “Ask Mary Jo” answers questions about health and sexuality. She also has authored 34 books, The Nonnie Series for children on pertinent topics. She has presented over 750 workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Podgurski founded The Washington Health System Teen Outreach in 1988 and a peer education program in 1995. Dr. Podgurski mentors young parents and trained over 15,000 peer educators and impacted the lives of over 7,000 young parents. Dr. Podgurski was a leader in establishing the LGBTQI programs in Washington, PA.
“Dr. Mary Jo embodies the spirit of the Albert B. Craig, Jr. Her ability, energy, and years of service to youth and their families, are what made her this year’s award winner. She is an inspiration to us all”, said Paul “Stoney” Griffiths, president of Staunton Farm’s board of directors.