Winners of IOL’s prestigious Burlingame Award celebrated

The Institute of Living’s annual C. Charles Burlingame, MD, Award, one of the most prestigious annual psychiatric health awards in the nation, was bestowed upon two significant leaders and pioneers of the field in 2015 and 2016. They were honored at programs that included special dinners and formal lectures to honor their achievements.

The program to celebrate the 28th annual award-winner, David A. Brent, MD, took place in October 2015 with a dinner at the Hartford Golf Club that drew more than 230 people. In his address to the gathering, Dr. Brent, who is Academic Chief for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburg as well as Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, spoke about the issues that contribute to teen suicide in the U.S., and the will that is needed to prevent them.

The 2016 Burlingame Award recipient was Steven S. Sharfstein, MD, who retired as president and CEO of the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore after more than three decades as a leader and innovator in establishing modern and comprehensive centers for psychiatric care. Sheppard Pratt and the IOL are both members of The Ivy League of Psychiatric Hospitals, an informal organization consisting of the six remaining earliest asylums in America.  Both organizations share a long history of leading service in the field; others include the Westchester Division of New York Hospital; Brattleboro Retreat in Vermont; Butler Hospital in Rhode Island; and McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.

As a leading voice and advocate for humane and effective psychiatric care, Dr. Sharfstein was selected as the 29th recipient of the Burlingame Award, with a dinner in his honor in November and a special lecture on the future of psychiatric hospitals delivered at IOL Grand Rounds the following morning. In addition, because of his status as a leader of one of the Ivy League institutions, Dr. Sharfstein’s selection presented an opportunity for leaders from each of the other institutions to attend the award program as part of the Ivy League’s annual leadership meeting, which has taken place every year for over a century. Leadership at each of the institutions were invited to come to the IOL the day of the dinner to hold an initial meeting before going to the award dinner; the following morning they were invited to attend the lecture before meeting briefly once more.

“We were tremendously excited to be able to recognize Dr. Brent and Dr. Sharfstein, who have both contributed so much to bringing high quality, compassionate care to people with psychiatric issues,” IOL Psychiatrist-in-Chief Harold I. (Hank)  Schwartz, MD,  said. “It was also very gratifying to celebrate our award program in 2016 with the leaders of the Ivy League institutions.”

Photo caption: David A. Brent, MD, at left, is shown with his wife, Nancy Brent, center, and IOL Psychiatrist-in-Chief Harold I. (Hank) Schwartz, MD, right.