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Courage Center Names 2009 Phillips Award Recipients

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Minneapolis-based Courage Center, a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center, is pleased to announce the recipients for the 2009 Jay and Rose Phillips Awards. The awards are presented each year by Courage Center to people with disabilities who have achieved outstanding vocational and community success as well as the Caregiver Award which acknowledges and honors a behind-the-scenes caregiver vital to the success of a person with a disability. Each winner receives $2,000 and is recognized at the Medtronic Celebration of Courage Gala Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009, at the Depot in Minneapolis.

This year's Phillips Award recipients are (photos are available upon request):


Barbara Barr, Edina, Minn.

Commercial Lines Underwriter, Employers Mutual Companies, Minnetonka, Minn.

These days, not many employees can say they've been with a company for 46 years. Barbara Barr can. But, when she first arrived in Minneapolis from Breckinridge, Minn., in the early 1960s, people with disabilities were considered 'unemployable.' "Business after business turned me down until I applied at Employers Mutual Companies," said Barbara. In her current job she works with a safety dividend program for bulk oil dealers providing loss control measures. -more-

James Hegstrom, River Falls, Wis.

Placement Coordinator-Rehabilitation Services, Minn. Dept. of Employment & Economic Development, Blaine, Minn.

James is a true role model for the people with disabilities with which he works. As a placement coordinator with the State of Minnesota DEED, he matches people's skills with job openings. In addition to this one-to-one job placement, James works to create relationships with businesses to in to help people with disabilities compete and interview for employment. -more-

Susan Maus, Burnsville, Minn.

IT Solutions Strategist, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis

In June 2000, Susan was involved in a car crash, which resulted in a spinal cord injury. During her rehabilitation, she worked hard and learned what tools would provide her the greatest independence. Prior to her injury, she worked for Fairview Health Services. Following rehabilitation she returned to Fairview part-time as a lead business analyst for information technology solutions. In 2008, she was promoted to her current, full-time position. -more-


Claire and Warren Braun, Mounds View, Minn.

Those who know Claire and Warren Braun marvel at how they manage their household and lives. Through competence, compassion, perseverance and phenomenal scheduling feats, they keep their large family immersed in church and community events as well as school and extra-curricular activities.

The couple made a choice to care for special needs children after the birth of their first child. Their goals were simple: provide a family who loves them, meet all their physical needs, provide education and advocate for each so they can become productive and well-adjusted adults. Over the past 30 plus years, the have had three biological children, 73 foster children and adopted six. Soon, two more will be adopted by the Brauns. Currently, 12 family members live at the Braun home while four more children are adult, living independently. -more-

About Courage Center

Courage Center is a Minneapolis-based rehabilitation and resource center that advances the lives of children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence. At Courage Center, we specialize in treating brain injury; spinal cord injury; stroke; chronic pain; autism; and disabilities experienced since birth. Founded in 1928, Courage Center is a nonprofit organization offering advanced technologies and innovation provided in part through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and donors. For more information, visit

About the Phillips Awards

The Phillips Awards are made possible by a grant from the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation and is open to residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota whose physical disability is of such severity that successful employment during the last three years represents a significant accomplishment. Nominees also must be vocationally and financially independent. Self-employed individuals and employers also are eligible. Additional factors such as attitude, leadership, character and community involvement will also be considered in selecting the award recipients. For more information on the Phillips Family Foundation visit

    CONTACT:   Sue Warner, communications manager
               Courage Center, 763-520-0263,

SOURCE Courage Center
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