Horizons – Spring 2012

A publication for friends and supporters of McLean Hospital

April 24, 2012

As you read the stories in this issue of Horizons, do take note of the recurring theme of collaboration. It is at the heart of the new Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where clinical care, research, and education are symbiotically entwined.

Notice the same motif in the article about our Geriatric Psychiatry Program, which prides itself in the tight feedback loop between clinical care and investigation, as well as in the story about donor-supported fellowships, focusing on a gifted young investigator doing research in a highly collaborative manner.

Innovations in mental health care are more likely to occur when barriers between different disciplines and approaches come down, allowing the best and brightest to work together. It is thanks to the generosity of our donors that so many of these collaborations are possible.

Horizons Cover Spring 2012

A Daughter’s Legacy: The Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The philanthropy of the Simches family spans generations; the beneficiaries include a host of programs, organizations, and initiatives throughout Massachusetts and Israel. “Our family has always had a commitment to philanthropy,” said Nancy Simches. “The spirit of giving back, whether through volunteering or financial largesse, is a long-standing tradition started by my father, continued by my late husband and me, and embraced by our children and grandchildren.”

Rogers Family Foundation: Supports Cutting-Edge Geriatric Psychiatry Research
Depression was ruining the life of an elderly woman with dementia who was being treated at McLean’s Geriatric Psychiatry Unit—just as these illnesses bring suffering to so many others. After standard treatments failed, a course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) finally brought relief. To the clinicians’ surprise, the ECT also reduced the agitated and aggressive behaviors that had made it very difficult for the woman’s family to care for her.

Turning Promise into Practice: Nurturing Young Researchers Through Donor-Supported Fellowships
The future of brain science lies in researchers like Poornima Kumar, a 30-year-old neuroscientist with the mind of a mathematician, the expertise of an engineer, and a PhD in neuroimaging. Kumar, the hospital’s first John and Charlene Madison Cassidy Fellow in Translational Neuroscience, works in that sweet spot where neuroanatomy meets mathematics. She uses computational models—the concepts and language of math—to understand how the brain works using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Horizons is published by the McLean Hospital Development Office.

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