NARSAD Florida to Honor David L. Shern with Luminary Award
Contact: Eileen Sexton, Mental Health America (703) 838-4783
Mike Vizary, NARSAD Florida (941) 359-0409
SARASOTA, Florida (January 9, 2008) - David L. Shern, Ph.D., the president and chief executive officer of Mental Health America, will be honored by NARSAD Florida for creating greater understanding of mental health issues in the United States and his decades of research into how the clinical systems that treat the mentally ill can be improved.
Dr. Shern will be recognized at the NARSAD Florida Mental Health Research Symposium, Jan. 12, and the Sunshine From Darkness Gala, Jan. 13, in Sarasota, Florida. Past Luminary Award honorees include journalist Mike Wallace, the late Pulitzer humorist Art Buchwald, Broadway star Barbara Cook, Sarasota philanthropist Virginia Toulmin, and Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash and his wife, Alicia Nash.
"NARSAD Florida honors David Shern for his enduring work as a teacher, a researcher and as a crafter of public policy on how we as a society care for the mentally ill," said NARSAD Co-founder Bob Peterson.
"Dr. Shern's research and policy influence on determining the mental health care needs of communities, how mental health care systems are organized and financed, and their effectiveness in treating patients has improved the lives of thousands of patients with a mental illness."
"We applaud the good works of Mental Health America and Dr. Shern, who continues to enlighten the unknowing and to inspire compassionate mental health care for all Americans."
Dr. Shern's research interests include the organization and financing of public mental health systems, psychiatric rehabilitation for persons with psychiatric disabilities, community care for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness, epidemiology and needs estimation, and program evaluation in mental health and other human service settings.
Before joining Mental Health America, Dr. Shern was a professor and dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida. He also served as director of the National Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health, New York State Office of Mental Health, as an affiliated researcher at the Rutgers University Center for Research on the Organization and Financing of Care for the Severely Mentally Ill, and as a professor of Public Policy, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, State University of New York at Albany. He has served as an advisor, consultant and contributing author to numerous mental health agencies, commissions and publications.
Dr. Shern earned his doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation - everyday and in times of crisis.
Founded by Lee and Bob Peterson, NARSAD Florida has raised almost $4 million for mental health research since 1998. NARSAD Florida is a chapter of the national organization - NARSAD, the world's leading charity dedicated to mental health research. Since 1987, NARSAD has awarded $219 million in 3,243 research grants to 2,502 scientists based at 418 universities, medical centers and research institutions throughout the United States and in 26 other countries.