CHI Celebrates 50 Years of Service in South Florida By Recognizing Patients and Donors

CHI patients are surprised as they open their gifts at the 50th anniversary birthday celebration to release butterflies.

On May 12th, excitement buzzed at the Doris Ison Health Center. As the Happy Birthday song played, CHI staff prepared for a day they would never forget: CHI’s 50th anniversary. In celebration of 50 years of service to the South Florida community, CHI held its Patient Loyalty Awards in the morning, which honored 15 families who have been patients for generations; 25, 30 and 50 years.

“It is a very emotional day for all of us when we look back at the five decades, a legacy of excellence in caring for the South Florida community and to think how far we have come, and the privilege you have given us to care for you and your families, some from birth well into old age,” said Tiffani Helberg, Vice President for Communications.

At the end of the ceremony, CHI presented the families with special gifts. On the count of three, each family opened their box, releasing paper butterflies into the air. President, Blake Hall, then gave his closing remarks, and the lively Junkanoo band took center stage to finish off a vibrant celebration.

In the evening, CHI’s virtual birthday party and donor recognition event celebrated the first annual induction of donors into the Giving Societies. Barry Johnson, Chair of the Children’s Crisis Center capital campaign, served as emcee for the ceremony. Attendees included Miami-Dade County.

Commissioner Kionne McGhee and State Representative Kevin Chambliss. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also made a special appearance via a video birthday message for CHI.

To open the event, CEO Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. recounted CHI’s rich history, from two trailers to 11 health centers, 35 school-based programs, mobile medical and dental units, and a teaching health center. The ceremony not only celebrated the organization’s milestones, but also created a new milestone along the way as more than 80 donors were inducted into CHI’s Giving Societies. Every single contribution has brought CHI closer to realizing the first Children’s Crisis Center in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

“Thanks to the immense support from the public and private donors, we are less than $1.2 million away from reaching the $5.5 million needed for construction,” said Anthony Acevedo, Chairman of the CHI Foundation. “The finish line for this campaign is clearly visible, and together we will cross it in the name of the thousands of children in our community suffering with severe mental illness.”

Outgoing Chairman of the Board, Arjun Saluja and Director of Development Victoria Castro ended the night with a few heartfelt words of gratitude for the people who make everything possible: CHI’s dedicated leaders and donors.

If you would like to support our Children’s Crisis Center, please visit