Dr. Gary Small, chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and serves as physician-in-chief for Behavioral Health at Hackensack Meridian, will be the inaugural chair holder.
“It is with great pleasure that my family and I make this generous gift to fund the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Behavioral Health at Hackensack Meridian Health,” Edele Hovnanian said in a statement. “The continued need for compassionate and innovative behavioral health services in New Jersey is great, and it is our hope that this gift will ensure that Hackensack Meridian Health remains committed to advancing research and care services for patients and their loved ones for years to come.”
Small joined HMH in November 2020. He oversees educational programs and training, is responsible for his department’s clinical operations, develops and expands research and academic programs and develops and maintains quality initiatives. He also leads recruiting efforts for physicians within the behavioral health field.
“I am honored to be the inaugural chair of The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Behavioral Health at Hackensack Meridian Health, as funded by the generosity of the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation,” Small said. “I am grateful for this generous gift, which will allow Hackensack Meridian Health, and our behavioral health care teams throughout the network, to be a leading provider of psychiatric care services in New Jersey. We will be able to have a major impact during this challenging time for many of those in our community suffering from behavioral health issues.”
In an interview with NJBIZ not long after he arrived at HMH, Small said he was impressed by the health system’s commitment to behavioral health. “What drew me to psychiatry and mental health is how our minds and our brains affect our bodies,” he said. “And if you can take care of your brain, take care of your mind, that’s going to have tremendous impact on not only your overall health but your well being and quality of life.”
Before coming to New Jersey, Small was a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. He also served as director of the UCLA Longevity Center.
“We are so heartwarmingly moved by the continued generosity of the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation,” said Joyce P. Hendricks, president and chief development officer of the Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “This particular gift has the incredible power to make a lasting difference in the lives of behavioral health patients and their loved ones for years to come. We are truly grateful for this extraordinary gift.”