A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
PSYCHIATRIC FOUNDATION OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (PFNC)
In 1993, PFNC started because a patient of Dr. Robert Kimmich, a Past President of NCPS, had given him a $10,000 gift.
Dr. Kimmich wanted to make a tax-deductible gift to NCPS. To do this, a 501(c)3 organization was established as the Charitable organization affiliated with NCPS. Gifts to PFNC became tax-deductible.
Then, Mrs. Mary Jane Brinton decided to give funds to PFNC and about $20,000 went to the Brinton Education Fund. She had more money she wanted to give, and several suggestions were made, not all of which had to do with direct service. The PFNC Board decided that the program that would have the most direct impact would be a homeless project, an area of Mrs. Brinton’s interest. At the time there was disagreement on the Board about whether a direct service project was a good idea. For 10 years, Mrs. Brinton gave about $100,000 a year to the Brinton Psychiatric Homeless Project (BPHP).
The PFNC Board was then able to raise funds from other foundations. PFNC received about $350,000 from The California Endowment, specifically for the Brinton Psychiatric Homeless Project. PFNC also received $50,000 from the Kaiser Foundation for the Golden Gate Bridge Barrier project, as well as $20,000 from a community foundation related to St. Francis Hospital.
In 2010, Mrs Brinton decided to wind up her philanthropic affairs and ceased to fund the BPHP. She died a few months later at age 88. Currently all our funds come from donations from our generous NCPS members.
After the Homeless Project the Golden Gate Bridge Barrier project became the main focus and once it was approved the Foundation put more energy into doing annual conferences related to current issues related to mental health. These included a half-day conference on Gun Violence in America and the following one on Terrorism. These were open to our members as well as the public at large and were well attended.
Currently PFNC has continued to support Psychiatric Residents to attend NCPS Annual meetings. It also has supported local organizations that work in the area of Mental Health, such as NAMI and Suicide Prevention. This year during a year of COVID, social isolation and Wildfires, a well received Webinar was held on Nature Healing
Going forward we plan to continue our work with Community Mental Health organizations, support Psychiatric Residents attendance at our annual meetings and continue community based programs to increase awareness of and reduce the stigma of mental illness.