Fountain House Receives $4 Million Gift in Recognition of its Work Helping People with Schizophrenia Recover through a Community System of Care

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Fountain House Receives $4 Million Gift in Recognition of its Work Helping People with Schizophrenia Recover through a Community System of Care

Gift from The Doris Bry Trust signals the largest single donation received by the pioneering 70-year old organization.


March 8, 2018 – The Doris Bry Trust has awarded Fountain House $4 Million – the largest single gift in organizational history – in honor of the unwavering commitment of its Medical Director Dr. Ralph Aquila to improve the lives of people with schizophrenia.  Dr. Aquila has worked as a community psychiatrist, specialized in schizophrenia, for over 25 years. Together with Fountain House President Kenn Dudek, Aquila created The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Center - the first integrated health home for people with serious mental illness in the US. The Baer Center provides psychiatric and primary care, while Fountain House, located blocks away from the center, focuses on social interventions in the areas of employment, education, wellness and housing.


“The Trustees of The Doris Bry Trust were given the mandate to support charities doing important work in the field of mental health, especially those that dealt with two particular areas of concern: schizophrenia and geriatric depression.  Fountain House’s 70 years of work focusing on people with serious mental illness also had impact in key areas such as research, early diagnosis/intervention, care and treatment, and advocacy/de-stigmatization, and we felt this cause would honor the legacy of Doris Bry herself,” said Lee Marks, Trustee of the Doris Bry Trust.


“The support of The Doris Bry Trust is a major vote of confidence in the work Fountain House and The Sidney R. Baer Jr. Center have been doing for decades to improve the lives of people with schizophrenia,” commented Dr. Aquila. “Since Fountain House was created in the 1940s, it has promoted a vision that people with serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, can achieve recovery. Time and again, our Community System of Care has proven that this vision can be a reality. As President Trump advocates for the reopening of psychiatric institutions, programs such as Fountain House have continued to prove that when people with serious mental illness receive quality, humanistic care within the community, they are able to thrive.”


Research from 2017 by the Health Evaluation and Analytics Lab (HEAL) at New York University shows that high utilizers of Medicaid services have a 21% decrease in total cost of care through Fountain House’s Community System of Care.

“This extraordinarily generous gift from The Bry Trust will lay the groundwork for Fountain House to continue its life-changing work for another 70 years. It will also help to enhance services at The Sidney R. Baer Jr. Center; expand Fountain House’s Silver Project that serves a geriatric population; and develop a community psychiatry training program that prepares professionals to work at community mental health programs serving people with the most serious forms of mental illness,” explained Dudek.



Since 1948, NYC-based Fountain House, recipient of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, has empowered people with serious mental illness to live and thrive in society.

Each year, over 1,600 members come to Fountain House to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities and forge new friendships. 

Fountain House has inspired the creation of hundreds of similar programs in 34 countries that serve more than 100,000 people annually.



Doris Bry was the leading authority on the works of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe. During her long life she worked for Time-Life as a science researcher, established her own publishing imprint, Atlantis Editions, and acted as agent for Georgia O'Keeffe.

Doris Bry influenced at least two decades of scholars, curators, dealers and collectors in the field of photography. She worked with the finest museums in the country, helping to build their photography collections with her early pioneering efforts in that field; she had a particularly rich relationship with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas.

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