Debra Mayconich Baron, PhD directs Project SUN. She has a long history of working to make Kankakee and Iroquois counties safer and healthier places to live and work. She has been involved in numerous efforts to address mental health services, substance abuse and violence prevention, self-empowerment, community engagement, and racial justice.
Having joined the CFKRV staff in October 2018, Deb is passionate about helping children and their families flourish. This new initiative, intended to improve the children’s mental health system of care in Kankakee County, draws upon lessons learned through her prior work and volunteer experience. She has also been instrumental in initiating the Life Education Center healthy lifestyles programs, the Pledge for Life Partnership, the online Kankakee-Iroquois Help Information Network (kanihelp.org), the annual Kankakee County Volunteer Recognition Luncheon, and Kankakee United. Deb serves on the board of directors of the Pledge for Life Partnership and AgeGuide – the area agency on aging serving northeastern Illinois. She is also a member of the Kankakee County Partnership for a Healthy Community Steering Committee, the Kankakee United Leadership Team, and as treasurer of Riverview Historic District, Inc.
Dr. Baron earned a PhD in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago, a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA.