Sunday, April 24, 2011

Columbia University's the Kathryn Faughey Fellowship

Amazing news: Columbia University has established the Dr. Kathryn Faughey Fellowship which is a post-doctoral research scientist position to evaluate the Care Monitoring Initiative and associated public mental health policies and programs hopefully to insure that those like Kathryn's attacker will be treated and monitored properly so as not to pose a safety risk.

I think Kathryn would be so touched by this. Imagine an end to people roaming the streets of New York City, homeless and tormented so that they end up striking out at others. Imagine that what happened to Kathryn might someday never happen again. This fellowship in Kathryn's name looks to appoint someone specifically to study and fix our broken public mental health system so that nobody again falls through the cracks.

What an honor to her memory! I have no doubt that Kathryn, before she knew she was in danger, tried to help the man who ended up killing her. I'm sure she cared about his welfare as she cared about everyone she ever met. This Fellowship will see to it that nobody is neglected and forgotten. That's truly carrying on the work that she devoted her life to.

On a personal note, when I went to Kathryn's funeral, after it was over I walked down the street past the little memorial of candles and mementos in front of her office and just then, a scruffy man in a tattered dirty raincoat stopped and put a Beanie Baby bear on the sidewalk there, patted it into place, and walked on. What a remarkable sight! There is no question - and no surprise - that Kathryn had reached out to him at some point. No one was invisible to Kathryn. And no one will be now. Bravo, Columbia University!

Kathryn Faughey Fellowship: