The Connecticut Association for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) awards Lois Davis the 2018 Jane C. Bourns Award of Excellence, for her devoted service to the infant mental health knowledge, skills and practice field as a member of the Connecticut Board of Directors of the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health and a leader across the state of Connecticut.
CT-AIMH remembers that she joined the Board of Directors when it was a planning Board and met at the library in Middletown. She was invited to join because of her unwavering advocacy for how we evaluate infants and toddlers with their families. She was part of developing the Infant Toddler Developmental Assessment (IDA) which was one of the earliest assessments that looked at emotional development of babies and which looked at the parents experience and relationship to their babies. She spoke bravely and boldly about the limitations of applying standardized tools to an evaluation taking place in a home setting, of making determinations of the babies’ abilities based on one visit. More importantly she persisted in doing the important work with babies even when the policies and procedures of practice went against her beliefs. And so she has stayed with our CT Association of Infant Mental Health Board for more than 15 years.
She had retired from teaching at St. Josephs College when she eagerly joined the first group of professionals to submit their portfolios and sit for the examination to become endorsed in Culturally Sensitive, Relationship Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®. She continued to meet with that group for regular reflective supervision. Lois has also been supportive of the Boards involvement at the national and international level in the development of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.
Also, after her retirement she began working at the LEARN Birth to Three program as a developmental educator that entailed doing what she believed to be “foolish” – evaluating babies for eligibility for early intervention services. So many families valued her reassurance, her wisdom and her belief in them. Lois could always recognize a baby’s good relationship and went to bat to make sure that relationship continued or expanded.
Among the many contributions of hers that we will miss is her planning for the CT-AIMH annual conference and meeting. Lois so eloquently invited our presenters and always assured that they were treated royally. Kathy Blomquist from Minnesota is still raving about her lodging and welcome that Lois arranged many years ago. Other presenters have had the same nurturing experience from her. Additionally, she initiated our logo pin and has made sure we always have a supply on hand. She has been instrumental in helping us recognize appropriate persons for our Bourns Award, Dr. Kyle Pruett is an example. She was always willing to help when needed as our Association developed, even things such as meeting with Drs. Volkmer and Mayes to discuss our moving our administrative site to the Yale Child Study Center.
Lois has been a devoted champion for infants, young children and their families for many years. We are so grateful for her service, and thank her for her passion, wisdom, and energy to speak up for what is best for them at any place and any time.
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