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In photo left to right: Evanne Adams, Alison Hall, Julie Evans

Individual Organizational Capacity Building Award

Nominator: Julie Evans, Director of Prevention & Victim Response, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR)
Award Recipient: Alison Hall, Executive Director, PAAR

Alison Hall holds herself and the agency to the highest level of accountability in responsibility to victims and the community. The scope and depth of PAAR’s work has grown dramatically in her tenure. Under her leadership, PAAR does innovative work often leading the way in our county, state, and nationally. During challenging financial and budget times when centers across the country were eliminating staff, PAAR did not. Alison has remained steadfast in her commitment to victim response and prevention of sexual violence. Her leadership promoted PAAR’s many years of acceptance to present at the National Sexual Assault Conference, travel across the United States, and continue to secure funding to push past ordinary to extraordinary.

 Alison has also pushed through organizational change that showed great vision and added innovative services. She transitioned PAAR’s counseling modality into Cognitive Processing Therapy, the most effective treatment for survivors of trauma. She went straight to the experts and partnered with the local Veteran’s Agency to provide training to PAAR staff. PAAR now serves more clients, clients improve sooner, and staff possesses the documented evaluation results to demonstrate the positive change and healing that clients experience. At the beginning of treatment, throughout, and in follow-up surveys, adult clients complete the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. A client in treatment reporting a 10 point drop in symptomology indicates statistical significance. Our clients typically report a 22 point reduction in symptomology!

 To say it is not easy or comfortable to provide uncompromising services to the men, women and children PAAR services is an understatement. Alison does it with dignity and dedication and shows the way for the rest of the agency. A vital part of sustaining an agency is retention of well trained and innovative employees. PAAR’s turnover rate is extremely low with many employees still working after ten and twenty years in service to victims. A strong organization continues to challenge, train, and nurture employees. Staff attend annual national and regional trainings and are encouraged to network and build a base of professional contacts. Alison has also made a commitment to the self-care of staff. She instituted a UTime program which helps employees take time to refresh, rejuvenate, and engage in selfcare. 

Alison is always looking for way to recognize the work done by employees. She values what every employee at PAAR thinks about their work and how we can continue to improve and enhance services. Ultimately, Alison has made many tough choices and it has benefited PAAR and the community. Revenues have returned to levels not seen in close to a decade. This is in comparison to the hundreds of nonprofits still struggling. She sets aside time each week to meet with her direct reports and to have team meetings for employees to share successes and brainstorm overcoming challenges. I feel confident as an employee that PAAR will provide the best service possible and my efforts towards that will be supported and recognized with Alison’s leadership.

Award Presentation:

Ms. Hall was presented the award on May 9th, during the 14th Pathways for Victim Services Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.    

On behalf of victims of crime and the victim services field, we thank you, Ms. Hall, for your innovation, collaboration, and unfailing commitment to victims of crime.

 Content Editor