The Arthur R. Kravitz Award for Community Action and Humanitarian Contributions was established in 2008, for our 75th anniversary, to recognize Members of BPSI who have provided noteworthy psychoanalytically-informed service to our broader community.

The award is named to honor the memory of Arthur R. Kravitz, MD, a former President of BPSI whose outstanding public service gave us a model for the contributions that we wish to recognize and celebrate.


Dr. Kravitz (1928 – 2005), a graduate of Harvard College and of Harvard Medical School, trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital  (internal medicine), The Boston Psychopathic Hospital (now the Massachusetts Mental Health Center) and the Beth Israel Hospital, now the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (psychiatry). He graduated from BPSI in 1964. Always a physician and a teacher, he served also as Chair of the BPSI Board of Trustees from 1973-1975 and as President from 1974-1976. His special interest was in increasing the breadth of connections for BPSI.

Dr. Kravitz became a major advisor to the leaders of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and served as a member of the Board of Overseers of The Boston Symphony Orchestra.  His interest in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and in music (second only to his love of the Boston Red Sox) led to his significant work with Project Step, which aimed at facilitating access to training in classical music for children of color.  In what was perhaps his most important venture, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dimock Community Health Center (whose illustrious history goes back to the 1860s), and Chair of their Community Service Board.

The universal respect, admiration, and, above all, trust, that Dr. Kravitz inspired, continues to be a model for BPSI.  It is this tradition of personal integrity and public service that we honor with the Arthur R. Kravitz Award.


The Kravitz Award winner is announced and honored at an annual BPSI function.  A contribution of $1000 is also made, in honor of the recipient, to an organization or charity of his/her choice.


Arthur M. Kravitz Awardees


Karen Melikian, PhD, has been dedicated to psychoanalysis and its application in the wider community for many years. Beyond her practice in adult and child psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, she has participated through Physicians for Human Rights in interviewing refugees seeking asylum in the Boston area as well as the deportation center for women and children in Dilly, Texas. Her career has included consulting to the past Massachusetts Department of Social Services and providing clinical treatment to children in long term care through the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. She is currently a supervisor for The McLean/Franciscan children’s services programs. Dr. Melikian was recently invited to address the Armenian psychoanalytic association in Yerevan, Armenia and gave a paper on Creativity and Play. She has remained involved with the Armenian association by teaching a Winnicott seminar via Skype.


Gil Noam, PhD (Habi.), EdD, is a nationally recognized developmental psychologist, and the founder and director of the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education & Resilience, a joint initiative at Harvard University and McLean Hospital. His career exemplifies how a scholar and clinician can innovate, integrate, and apply multidisciplinary knowledge in community settings to benefit and support our children.


Deborah Choate, MD, is a psychiatric/psychoanalytic consultant with the homeless and disadvantaged community. She is currently volunteering at organizations that help women who are homeless or living in poverty to obtain housing, education, and economic independence. In addition, she is being recognized for her outstanding leadership as Chair of the Social Awareness Committee at BPSI.


Dr. Michael Grodin is a nationally recognized expert in medical ethics and human rights.  He is the Director of the Project on Medicine and the Holocaust at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University.  He is also Professor of Bioethics and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine.


Alexandra Harrison, MD, for her unrelenting generosity of time and expertise to train caregivers in orphanages internationally, to develop models of treatment for children with special needs and infants.


Judith A. Yanof, MD, for her generous and creative efforts to provide psychoanlytically informed programs for early childhood education workers, for consultative work for disadvantaged children and families, for her work in psychoanalysis and film, and many other contributions.


Judith Arons, LICSW, Sarah Birss MD, and Ann Epstein, MD,  for their creative and committed work applying psychoanalytic and developmental principles in training therapists to do psychotherapy with parents and infants at the Infant Parent Training Institute at JF&CS of Greater Boston.


Gerald Adler, MD,  for his creative and energetic contribution in founding the Boston Psychoanalytic Alliance, which provided BPSI with its first structure to develop community and cultural outreach programs, involving the active participation of BPSI members.  He also co-founded, as a part of the Alliance, the Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues, now called the Committee on Gender and Sexualities.


Roberta Apfel, MD, and Bennett Simon, MD, for their their influential and committed work with the mental health of children of war, Physicians for Human Rights, and many other local and international initiatives.


Maurice Vanderpol, MD,  for his progressive and important contributions over many years in consultations to various school systems, and with Facing History and Ourselves and other charitable organizations.  The school consultation work, which began with the Needham Schools and then spread, was firmly based in psychoanalytic concepts and the idea of a therapeutic milieu.