Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Award Presented

silber-16-matt-carter    The SIMHS presented its 2016 Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Award to Matt Carter, Esq., an associate attorney in the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice of the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, recognizing his extraordinary service to Staten Island children, especially those with special needs.
     Andrea Smyth, Executive Director of the Albany-based NYS Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health, addressed the changing landscape of care in the Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Memorial Lecture: “Children’s Behavioral Health Care: How the Present Will Guide the Future.”
      Mr. Carter is the lead attorney shepherding the Society through its merger into Richmond University Medical Center. The merger will ensure that the community continues to have uninterrupted access to the wide range of services currently offered by the Society.
      O’Melveny and Mr. Carter are working pro bono, saving the Society well over six figures in costs – “crucial resources set aside for our programs and services for Staten Island children and families with special needs,” said SIMHS President/CEO Fern A. Zagor
      However, Mr. Carter was not selected for the Silberstein Award just for his legal expertise. “He earned this honor for his generosity and valued support for the Society’s mission to serve Staten Island children and families, and for his compassion, commitment, and considerable knowledge to benefit the Island’s most vulnerable populations. He is a true champion for the under-served,” she added.
      “I am truly honored by this award. It has been so gratifying to give a little back to my new home city. But the opportunity for the O’Melveny team and I to assist such worthy work in the community would have been reward enough,” Mr. Carter said.
      He also credited the strong institutional support and longstanding commitment of O’Melveny to pro bono work for giving him “the opportunity to take on an engagement of this complexity and duration.”
      A member of O’Melveny’s Life Sciences Practice Group, Mr. Carter also works with a number of high-tech clients on the cutting edge of bio-innovation, computer technology, media and infrastructure. Our 2016 Silberstein honoree earned his J.D. at Stanford University and currently resides in midtown Manhattan.
      Silberstein lecturer Ms. Smyth is also the owner of A. Smyth Advocacy, a government relations and strategic planning firm, opened in 1999 to assist nonprofit organizations serving women, children and people with disabilities.
      Ms. Smyth has been appointed to numerous state advisory committees, including the Children’s Subcommittee of the Medicaid Redesign Team, and has worked for some of Albany’s most influential organizations, including the NYS Association of Counties, the New York Public Welfare Association, the Home Care Association of NYS, and the United Jewish Appeal–Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
      A native of rural Duchess County, Ms. Smyth earned a BA from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University at Albany.
      The annual Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Memorial Lecture and Award was established in 1988 as a tribute to the SIMHS’s founding director, who served in that capacity for 21 years, according to Ms. Zagor. “During Dr. Silberstein’s more than two decades of leadership, he dedicated himself to building a network of diverse mental health services for children in our borough, passing on a legacy of help and hope to this vulnerable population,” she said.
      Previous award recipients include City Councilman Steven Matteo (2015); Borough President James Oddo (2014); Betsy Dubovsky (2013); Juanita Chappelle (2012); Clifford A. Mevs, MD (2011); Councilwoman Debi Rose (2010); Pat Miller (2009); Donna Long, (2008); Beryl S. Clark (2007); Judith Nachison (2006); Lawrence Ambrosino (2005); Brian Laline (2004); Louis DeLuca (2003); Senator John J. Marchi (2002); Sheldon Blackman, Ph.D. (2001); City Councilman Jerome X. O’Donovan (2000); Rev. William E. Merryman (1999); Dorothy A. Clark (1998); Stephen F. DiCarlo (1997); the Honorable Judge Holt Meyer (1996); the Reverend Monsignor John T. Servodidio (1995); Kenneth M. Goldstein, Ph.D. (1994); Mark Marcario (1993); Virginia Gale (1992); Almeda McClennan Sabido (1991); Harriet Juhass (1990); Assemblywoman Elizabeth A. Connelly (1989); and Dr. Joseph Dolgin (1988).

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