by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
On March 18, 2011, Daily News columnist Clem Richardson (who writes regularly on “Great People”) featured Peter Campanelli, chief of Institute for Community Living, a nonprofit that helps people with psychiatric disabilities.
Richardson wrote about awards Campanelli had won: but interestingly, he was not yet aware of Campanelli’s most intriguing award. With over 150 submissions, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare selected Dr. Peter C. Campanelli, ICL’s, founder, CEO and President to receive a 2011 Visionary Leader award at the annual Awards of Excellence on May 3rd in San Diego, California.
“Peter Campanelli is an outstanding leader in the healthcare industry. His vision and passion in serving this most vulnerable population has provided a safe haven and hope for the future in New York City” said Linda Rosenberg, MSW, President and CEO of the National Council. “Peter’s work has revolutionized the behavioral healthcare industry, particularly in how the best services and supports can be provided in an urban setting.”
The Daily News article offers an interesting account of Campanelli’s life and the founding of ICL. Campanelli grew up in East Flatbush and attended Boys High School. He spent fourteen months in Vietnam and served with the 82nd Airborne Division and First Cavalry. Afterward, he attended St. Francis College and majored in psychology; while there he also worked at the Brooklyn VA on one of the first PTSD studies.
While getting a masters in psychology at St. John’s University, he met Peter Nathan, head of the clinical psychology division at Rutgers University. At Rutgers, his mentor was Dan Fishman (Harvard trained), who suggested that the topic of Campanelli’s thesis be on people cycling in and out of the hospital.
Richardson noted: “‘Dan said if you want to create the equivalent of a virtual delivery system that would exist only on paper,” Campanelli said. He paid a lawyer friend and had the system incorporated as a nonprofit. He named his doctoral system Institute for Community Living.
Peter Campanelli has since won two American Psychiatric Association Gold awards. HIs 25-year-old Institute for Community Living provides an array of services to more than 9,000 people with psychiatric, developmental, or intellectual disabilities.
We congratulate Peter Campanelli and the Institute for Community Living.