In September 2006, Wayne Fenton, M.D., who had been associate director of
the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was murdered by a severely
mentally ill patient he had treated in his private office, leaving behind
countless grieving colleagues in schizophrenia research.
To mark the occasion, Schizophrenia Bulletin dedicated its
September issue to Fenton and inaugurated the annual Wayne Fenton Award for
Exceptional Clinical Care.
The first awardee, honored posthumously, is the late Gerard Hogarty,
M.S.W., a pioneer in psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia. Hogarty, who
died last year, had been a professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University
of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. At last year's Institute on Psychiatric
Services, he was posthumously awarded the American Psychiatric Foundation
Alexander Gralnick, M.D., Award for Research in Schizophrenia (Psychiatric
News, November 3, 2006).
In last month's Bulletin, former colleagues Shaun Eack, M.S.W.,
and Rohan Ganguli, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine,
and Nina Schooler, Ph.D., of Georgetown University School of Medicine,
described Hogarty's contributions and the evolution of his work in
Gerard Hogarty, M.S.W., the first awardee of the Wayne Fenton Award for
Exceptional Clinical Care, died last year and received the award posthumously.
He was a pioneer in psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia.
"Hogarty's art as a clinician not only ensured his personal
effectiveness with patients, but also when combined with his passion for
science spurred the development, refinement, and empirical validation of four
major psychosocial treatments for persons with schizophrenia (major role
therapy [MRT], family psychoeducation, personal therapy [PT], and cognitive
enhancement therapy [CET])," they wrote. "These psychosocial
treatments have expanded the treatment possibilities for this population and
have significantly advanced the care that such individuals receive, not only
in Pittsburgh, where he spent the last 31 years of his professional career,
but also throughout the world."
Bulletin Editor William Carpenter, M.D., explained the
significance of an award in Fenton's memory.
"Those of us working in the field know Wayne Fenton's very
substantial vision and leadership contributions," he told
Psychiatric News. "What was striking at his funeral and
memorial service several weeks later at NIMH were the stories of Wayne's
exceptional efforts and creative approaches in his care of patients. There are
a number of awards to recognize research excellence. We thought it would be
fitting to recognize exceptional clinical work."
In addition to the article on Hogarty, the Bulletin includes a
number of manuscripts describing Fenton's contributions to schizophrenia
treatment and research, along with commentaries by NIMH Director Thomas Insel,
M.D., and others.
One commentary was an anonymously written firsthand account by a patient
who had been treated by Fenton. "A mutual respect infused our
relationship," the patient wrote, "and I believe that allowed us
to fully trust one another and anticipate one another's reactions. We had an
unspoken understanding between us, like a dance where the steps were seamless
and carried out in unison, a dance that can only be performed with patience
and genuine understanding. Sometimes he led, sometimes I did. It was a kind of
collaboration and cathexis rarely witnessed or experienced, and now that it is
gone, it is painfully and sorely missed."
This issue of the Schizophrenia Bulletin is posted at<http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org>
under "September 2007." ▪