In Memoriam - Dr. Jerome "Jay" Goldsmith
Photo Credit: Fabian Bachrach
Dr. Jerome "Jay" Goldsmith, a giant in the field of community and adolescent mental health, died on Tuesday evening, March 12, 2013. Dr. Goldsmith not only led the merger of the Jewish Board of Guardians and Jewish Family Services to create the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS) in 1978, he was also a founder of The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies in 1972.
In addition to his many accomplishments, Dr. Goldsmith played a decisive role in supporting NASW’s effort to expand insurance reimbursement for clinical social workers in 1984, as he called upon his contacts at the highest level of state government.
During his tenure as a mental health specialist and child therapist, Dr. Goldsmith was a relentless advocate for child mental health and possessed a broad understanding of the public policy issues affecting families. His conviction was that troubled children need help rather than punishment. He was sought out as a resource by State and City government leaders at the highest levels. Due to the regard in which he was held, he chaired the Mental Health Committee of the Community Council of Greater New York, the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council, and the Governor's Select Commission on the State-Local Mental Health System.
Dr. Goldsmith was the CEO of JBFCS during the height of the HIV AIDS epidemic, and he was one of the first to recognize the need for mental health services to people with AIDS. He served on the Board of the Gay Men's Health Crisis. Dr. Goldsmith remained at the helm of JBFCS until 1991 and his professional life continued long after his formal retirement.
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