Grateful Family Creates Endowed Fund, Directorship to Honor Dr. Michael R. Hollander

October 18, 2021

Several years ago, Stephen and Ruth Palmer were sitting on their porch reflecting on the state of the world. In that moment, they decided to make a point of remembering those who had helped them in challenging times. Shortly after, they made a $1,000,000 gift to McLean Hospital to establish the 3East Endowed Director Fund.

The gift was in honor of Dr. Michael R. Hollander as a pivotal leader of the hospital’s clinical care for children and adolescents. McLean’s adolescent dialectical behavior therapy programs, collectively known as 3East, provide specialized care for teens and young adults.

“Receiving the endowed directorship was both a surprise and an honor,” Hollander said. “I was truly moved by the Palmers’ gratitude for my work and their willingness to provide tangible support going forward.”

“The problems Michael helps families address are often not susceptible to a direct fix with a family’s resources, sacrifices, and best efforts,” Ruth Palmer said. “But, with Michael and his team acting as a catalyst and as agents of change, solutions can be and often are found. We wanted to ensure that his life’s work will continue to benefit future generations.”

Two women walking in hallway
McLean’s 3East continuum focuses on helping teens struggling with an array of mental health challenges

Hollander was the first incumbent of the endowed position. Upon his retirement in September 2021 and at the Palmers’ request, the fund was renamed the Michael Hollander, PhD, Endowed Director Fund to honor his legacy at the hospital.

Blaise Aguirre, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and founding medical director of McLean’s 3East continuum of care, has been appointed the next incumbent to the position.

“I am beyond honored being named the Michael Hollander, PhD, Endowed Director,” Aguirre said.

“From my first interaction with Michael in the early 2000s, to his guiding me to dialectal behavior therapy, his sharpness of assessment delivered through the lens of compassionate usefulness to patients, and his occasional, well-timed wit—he has been a tremendous mentor and supervisor.”

The Michael Hollander, PhD, Endowed Director Fund provides support for the clinical, research, leadership, and educational activities of the director. In doing so, it furthers the hospital’s mission of providing the highest quality patient care, research, and education in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.

“Michael’s insistence on doing what works for a patient and then seeing results means that training in evidence-based approaches has to be central to our mission,” Aguirre said. “The fund will make sure that we continue to expect excellence in clinical care through the delivery of state-of-the-art training.”

The Palmers are confident that their gift will allow Hollander’s expertise and influence to carry on for years to come.

“For those of us who know Michael, it goes without saying that his positive impact on young lives has been without measure. For those who don’t, we know the world will be a better place as the reach of his work widens,” Stephen Palmer said.

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