Friday, October 4, 2013

Derri Shtasel named to Michele and Howard J. Kessler Chair

ENDURING SUPPORT: From left, Michele Kessler, Derri Shtasel and Howard Kessler

Derri Shtasel, MD, MPH, founding director of the MGH Division of Public and Community Psychiatry, has been named the inaugural incumbent of the Michele and Howard J. Kessler Chair in Public and Community Psychiatry. The endowed chair, funded by the Kessler Center of Excellence at Partners HealthCare, will support Shtasel and successive directors as they lead efforts to expand services for individuals suffering from severe and persistent mental illness who rely on government and community-based agencies for care.

“I’m so happy to congratulate my dear friend and colleague, Derri Shtasel on receiving this well-deserved honor,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “I applaud the Kesslers for recognizing the need to create systems of mental health care for medically vulnerable populations. Creating these systems is one of the responsibilities of the incumbent, and I can think of no better person to fulfill these responsibilities than Derri Shtasel.”

The ceremony, held in The Starr Center, also included remarks from Jerrold Rosenbaum, MD, chief of Psychiatry, Boston Mayor Thomas M.
Menino and Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, who sponsored the Mental Health
Parity and Addiction Equity Act along with his father, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. Other special guests included members of the Kessler family and Shtasel’s husband, Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, MBA, president and CEO of
Partners HealthCare.

Shtasel, who founded the Division of Public and Community Psychiatry in 2009, has dedicated her career to providing direct clinical care to underserved populations. Shtasel also is executive director of the Kraft Family National Center for Leadership and Training in Community Health at Partners HealthCare.

“The Michele and Howard J. Kessler Chair is powerful because it structurally integrates public and community psychiatry within the department,” said Shtasel. “It enhances our ability to recruit mission-driven trainees; connects our amazing young people to the sickest and neediest; continuously improves community partners’ relationships; and grows community-based, community-focused research. Perhaps most importantly, it provides a vehicle to amplify the voices of people whose voices are hard to hear, and encourages us to think and talk openly about social justice.”

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