Faculty member honored with national award

The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Gainesville chapter announced that Rajiv Tandon, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the UF College of Medicine, was selected by NAMI National to receive the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award for his exceptional service advocating for the rights of those with mental illnesses. Tandon will be honored at a special presentation hosted by NAMI during the 2012 American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting on May 7 in Philadelphia. NAMI Florida will present the award at the NAMI Florida Annual Conference in December.

Tandon, an international expert in schizophrenia, has been listed in every edition of the Best Doctors in America since 1995. He provides consultations to psychiatrists and families of individuals with severe mental illnesses. As the chief of psychiatry at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans’ Healthcare System, he has played a key role in expanding the Assertive Community Treatment from Gainesville to Jacksonville. He also initiated Gainesville’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center for veterans.

“We are proud to have Dr. Tandon as a director on the NAMI Florida board,” said Judith Evans, executive director of NAMI Florida. “No one is more deserving of this prestigious award. He has done so much to improve the quality of life for those with mental illnesses.”

Tandon is a member of the NAMI Gainesville chapter.

Tandon regularly provides testimony to the state Legislature in support of various NAMI priorities. He was a member of the State Supreme Court Subcommittee on Mental Health and Criminal Justice, chairing the workgroup on “Best Practices for Mental Health Diversion” during 2007 – 2008. He is also a member of a state panel that is developing a mental health manual and bench book for the judiciary.

Tandon has delivered more than 100 presentations to local, state, and national NAMI audiences during the past 20 years. He regularly participates in affiliate NAMI Gainesville meetings, providing information about advances in the understanding of mental illness.

Tandon is also a member of the National Schizophrenia Foundation and was chair of the board of directors from 2002 – 2005; the Brain Research Foundation, from which he received the Gerald Klerman award; the Florida Psychiatric Society Leadership Council; and Disability Rights Florida as a member of the Advisory Council for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness.