Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephen Baron and Joan Ditzion

By Paul R. Pace, News staff

Baron has been a leader in the public behavioral health system in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region for more than 35 years.
As the former director of the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, he oversaw an agency that provided services to more than 30,000 residents each year.

Prior to that position, Baron was president of Baltimore Mental Health Systems Inc., where he developed a range of innovative community-based programs for adults, affordable housing for people with serious mental illness, and expanded a variety of service programs for children. 

His peers noted his ability to collaborate with individuals, groups, agencies, elected officials and academic institutions. Officials from the federal, state and local governments highlight his social work skills. 

Ditzion is an original founder of Our Bodies Ourselves and co-author of all nine editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” as well as “Ourselves and Our Children,” and “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause.” 

The Library of Congress named “Our Bodies, Ourselves” as one of 88 books that “shaped America” and as of 2015, the books have been adapted into 30 languages.  

Ditzion has served on the OBOS board of directors as a founder and member and is now an ex-officio board member and liaison to the Our Bodies Ourselves Founders Group.

Ditzion has combated sexism and ageism and fostered positive aging and the vitality of feminist values in her writing, clinical work, teaching, speaking, workshops and advocacy efforts.