Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Award to Health Exec

Dr. Joseph Conte

The Society (SIMHS)  presented its 2017 Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Memorial Award to Joseph Conte, Ph.d., Executive Director of the Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) on December 15 at SIMHS headquarters. The award is given to community leaders who have made a significant and palpable difference in the lives of Staten Island children and their families.

“Joe’s vision is to transform the delivery of health care on Staten Island, to make it more accessible, more affordable and more dependable,” noted SIMHS President and Chief Executive Officer Fern A. Zagor. “His vision and his achievements touch every child and family in a positive way, helping them to envision a healthier future that raises the quality of their lives. He is a man of creative innovation and he encourages creativity in everyone he works with.”

Evolution of Child Trauma Recovery: Science and Narrative was the topic of the morning’s Dr. Richard M. Silberstein Memorial Lecture, given by Peter J. D’Amico, Ph.d., ABPP, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychology at Northwell Health, LIJ Medical Center.

SI PPS was created to implement the state’s Medicaid redesign program. The System focuses on collaborating with community-based organizations, cultural competency, health literacy, and work force development as core pillars of transformational change. Under Dr. Conte’s leadership, SI PPS was recognized by Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson as “leading the way” and the “most advanced” in New York.

Dr. Conte has spearheaded PPS’s advanced technology initiatives variables to create a “360 view” of population health, including telemedicine services in continuing care, peer recovery coaches in Emergency Rooms, a behavioral health diversion program to reduce EMS calls and large-scale workforce efforts.

Prior to his position as director of SI PPS, Dr. Conte served as the Senior Vice President for Administration at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), overseeing multiple departments. His achievements include leading RUMC to be certified for Meaningful Use, and qualifying for a major FEMA resiliency grant, both resulting in multi-million dollar payments. Under his leadership, RUMC achieved the first Person Centered Medical Home (PCMH) designation for hospital outpatient programs on Staten Island.

Other former positions held by Dr. Conte include Executive Vice President of the Catholic Health Services of Long Island, and Senior VP for Quality at Northwell Health, where his strategies led to award-winning programs.

Dr. Conte is an international speaker and has published multiple articles and chapters on behavioral health issues, substance abuse, and health information management systems.

Silberstein Lecturer Dr. D’Amico is the principal investigator for a five-year SAMHSA Grant for STRYDD Center (Supporting Trauma Recovery for Youth with Developmental Disabilities). He is  Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He is an internationally recognized expert and prolific author of books, journals, articles and chapters on all aspects of his field.

The annual Silberstein Award and Lecture event was established in 1988 as a tribute to the SIMHS’s founding director, D. Richard M. Silberstein, who helmed the Society for 21 years. “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,” Ms. Zagor said.

Previous award recipients include Matt Carter, Esq. (2016); City Council Minority Leader 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).