Cambridge, Mass. - Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) honored psychiatrist Nancy Rappaport, MD, with the healthcare system’s sixth annual Art of Healing Award on June 12th at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.
Presented during CHA’s annual fundraising event, the Art of Healing Award celebrates visionary men and women who transcend boundaries, joyfully embrace humanity, and profoundly inspire the healing of body and spirit. Sacha Pfeiffer, host of NPR affiliate WBUR’s All Things Considered, emceed the program, which raised more than $330,000 to support CHA and its critical community health mission.
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist and director of school-based mental health programs at Cambridge Health Alliance, Dr. Nancy Rappaport has dedicated her career to helping children with mental illness. In addition to overseeing mental health services at CHA’s four school-based health centers, including the Teen Health Center at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, she treats children who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other complex behavioral disorders and works closely with local schools to develop innovative strategies to help children with behavioral health issues.
Dr. Rappaport empowers the communities’ teachers with the tools they need to recognize when a child needs help and to steward a plan to help them. She has designed numerous courses for teachers on psychopharmacology, adolescent development, and instructional strategies for disruptive students. She also serves as an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, inspiring a new generation to provide the best care possible for troubled children and adolescents.
Her advocacy for children’s mental health reaches far beyond the school setting. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office invited her to provide testimony on clinical perspectives on how to address bullying, and her research on school violence prompted the Boston City Council to hold a public hearing to explore mental health services in its school system. Media outlets across the country have sought her expertise on youth violence, trauma, and psychiatric illness, and she has published numerous articles in various peer-reviewed journals. In 2012, she received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Sidney Berman Award for the School-Based Study and Treatment of Learning Disorders and Mental Illness.
Dr. Rappaport also authored the memoir In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide, winner of the Boston Authors Club’s 2010 Julia Ward Howe Prize. Her new book The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, is an extension of her efforts to change how the education system approaches mental illness in kids.
“Dr. Rappaport’s unending commitment to the underserved embodies the values central to our mission,” said Patrick Wardell, CHA’s Chief Executive Officer. “In helping struggling youth to take control of their lives, galvanizing critical collaborations between schools and mental health professionals, and inspiring current and future educators and health providers, she has made a lasting contribution to community health improvement.”
Cambridge Health Alliance is an integrated, award-winning health system that provides high quality care in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices, and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.challiance.org.
Pictured: Nancy Rappaport, MD, with Jay Burke, MD, MPH, Chairman and Chief of CHA's Department of Psychiatry