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SERV psychiatrist receives NJ Psychiatric Association’s highest honor

Dr. Nancy T. Block, a psychiatrist at SERV Centers of N.J.'s Clifton Behavioral Healthcare, recently received the New Jersey Psychiatric Association's highest honor, the 2014 Platinum Award.

Dr. Block received the award at NJPA's "Program for Excellence," held Nov. 16 at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin. The presentation was made by Dr. Margaret Tompsett.

The following tribute to Dr. Block is taken from the program journal:

"This year's Platinum Award is being given to Nancy T. Block, MD, DLFAPA for her contributions to psychiatry and the wider community.

Great grandniece of one of the first woman physicians, she grew up in a missionary family, and has continued throughout her life to live up to their ideals of service to humanity.

After graduating Alpha Omega Alpha from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1957, she served as a medical missionary in south India for two years. On her return she worked as a physician for the women's prison and child care centers. Her medical approach always appreciated the whole patient in his or her family and social context, rather than just his or her disease. This biopsychosocial orientation inspired her in 1969 to train as a psychiatrist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark.

After completing psychiatric training in 1973 she continued at UMDNJ, initially as Director of Children's Psychiatric Outpatient Services, and later as an attending psychiatrist working with many of the sickest patients needing long-term care. As an assistant professor and, since 1980 a clinical associate professor, she taught many generations of medical students, psychiatry residents, psychology interns and ancillary professional staff.

Dr. Block has been a member of the American Psychiatric Association since 1973, is a Distinguished Life Fellow and has served (the NJPA) district branch in many capacities, up to the office of President in 2002-2003. One of her greatest achievements was to organize the "Brian Behavior" exhibit at the Liberty Science Center in 1997-2000. This was a massive undertaking and involved hours of work and the organization of numerous volunteers. She and colleagues on the Public Education Committee worked to influence the health curriculum of public schools. She also served on Governor Richard Codey's Work Group on Post-Partum Depression. While president of NJPA, Dr Block appointed a task force to obtain information on the "Mental Health Needs and Services in New Jersey" and worked with her colleagues to produce a comprehensive report.

After closing her private practice, she has been working at SERV in the Clifton clinic serving disadvantaged people, insisting on spending sufficient time with patients to give quality care. She has continued to teach at UMDNJ in Newark, to write for the New Jersey Psychiatrist and to work with NAMI to give teachers better understanding of the needs of mentally ill children in the schools.

She has been a strong advocate for our patients and our profession, going to Trenton and meeting with legislators to educate them about the needs of the mentally ill. At an age when many are fully retired, she has continued to work for our patients and our profession as well as for the wider community. She has been working with Physicians for a National Health Program for a single payer health care system, so that all Americans can access the healthcare they need. At Council meetings, she is respected for the knowledge, wisdom and experience she brings to the table.

At the same time she has been a devoted wife to Russ, ... sharing his work for the housing needs of the people of Elizabeth. Her three children, their spouses and her 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren are all important to her and recently she took two grandchildren on the Walk for the Mental Health Association of New Jersey.

In her balance of life, career and family and her consistent caring for others in the wider community, she is an inspiration to us all."

2014 Scholarship Fund Cash Raffle Winners Announced

On November 17, there were three winners in the SERV Foundation Scholarship Fund Cash Raffle drawing. The winners received 25%, 15% and 10% of the total raised, which was $11,780.

They were:

1st prize – Cynthia Rea-Bello, of Clifton, NJ, $2,954 (25%)

2nd prize – Frank Hauch, of Manville, NJ, $1,767 (15%)

3rd prize – Marilyn Ticktin, of Roosevelt, NJ, $1,178 (10%)

Thank you to all who supported this fundraiser, which benefits SERV consumers wishing to pursue their educational goals.

The SERV Foundation

SERV M.D. presents ‘Psychiatrist’s Perspective on the Recovery Model’

Dr. Linda Gochfeld, Medical Director at SERV, recently presented a workshop at the 8th Annual Conference of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance-New Jersey. The conference, which took place Aug. 16 at Kean University, was titled "Surviving to Thriving."

Dr. Gochfeld presented "A Psychiatrist's Perspective on the Recovery Model," in which she spoke about her experience as a psychiatrist and how the Recovery model has changed practice over the years.

In her workshop, according to an article by the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA), Dr. Gochfeld "emphasized that the recovery model focuses on respect for the individuals and working towards their ability to lead meaningful lives in their communities, and that this is achieved by addressing all biological, psychological, social and vocational needs."

To read NJAMHAA's full article, click here.

2014 Scholarship Cash Raffle Kickoff

The SERV Foundation has begun the sale of tickets for its annual Scholarship Fund Cash Raffle. The goal is to raise $15,000!

Each year, the SERV Foundation receives approximately $25,000-$30,000 in requests from consumers who would like to further their education. The scholarship funding enables SERV consumers to pursue a college degree, a certificate in a technical field, or perhaps a course to improve their personal skills. Funding may also help pay for books and public transportation to the school.

In addition to applying for grants from area corporations and foundations to replenish the Scholarship Fund, each year The SERV Foundation asks all SERV employees to sell as many Scholarship Fund Cash Raffle tickets as possible.

There will be three winners who will receive 25%, 15% or 10% of the total raised.

If we raise our goal of $15,000,

  • 1st prize would be $3,750 (25%)
  • 2nd prize, $2,250 (15%)
  • 3rd prize, $1,500 (10%)

Tickets are $10 each. The drawing will take place November 17, 2014 at 1 p.m. at SERV's Corporate office, 20 Scotch Road, Ewing. You need not be present to win.

Please click here to purchase tickets or contact Tom Fresco at (609) 662-3059 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you are purchasing tickets in the name of a SERV employee, please add that person's name in the "Comment Field" so he or she may get credit for the sale.