Tisch Community Health Prize
    • About:

      Sandra Hagan, former Executive Director of The Child Center of NY (1986-2014) and now Senior Advisor, has dedicated her career to improving the social-emotional health and life trajectories of at-risk children and youth.

      The Child Center supports children struggling with poverty, emotional problems, school failure and other issues that stand in the way of their achievement. It provides individual and family mental health counseling, early childhood education, child abuse prevention and youth development.

      In the words of her nominator, Greg Shufro,

      “Sandy is perhaps the most humble person I have ever met…she has never sought the spotlight—in fact, she has made every effort to deflect any attention she may draw to shine an even brighter light on the plight of the children she so fervently seeks to serve.”

      Since taking the helm at The Child Center 28 years ago, Sandra:

      • Expanded the organization’s scope from strictly outpatient mental health treatment to a comprehensive, continuum of services with many points of access in the community;
      • Grew its budget from $3 million to $36 million and the number of families served annually from 850 to 18,000; and
      • Tripled the bilingual and bicultural staff to respond to the changing ethnic diversity in Queens.

      The Center’s outcome measures are impressive—for example, an 85% success rate in preventing psychiatric hospitalizations, and 86% less crime, drug use, truancy and other risk behaviors among children in its Juvenile Justice Program.

      Sandra’s idealism, administrative skill, and passionate commitment have enabled her to build an effective safety net to break the cycles of violence, abuse and neglect, and the ripple effect of her contributions to public health in NYC will impact generations to come.