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Long Time Child Advocate Dr. Robert D. Nolan to Retire as Executive Director of Institute for Child & Family Health

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Board of Institute for Child & Family Health (ICFH) today announces the retirement of Robert D. Nolan, Ph.D. as Executive Director. Dr. Nolan served as the Executive Director for over 35 years, taking the organization from a few staff members serving a handful of children to 500 employees serving over 33,000 children.

Board president Stephen J. Makar made the official announcement, saying, “Dr. Nolan has been an exemplary executive director; we could not have asked for more. We are disappointed to lose him, but wish him well on his retirement. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Juan C. Gonzalez our new CEO, and wish him well in his new role.”

Dr. Nolan started with the agency in 1962 when it was named the Children’s Psychiatric Center and worked as its Chief Psychologist until 1976 when he became the Executive Director. During his tenure he grew the agency from a few services to providing 44 programs throughout Miami-Dade County from several locations offering mental health and prevention services to children, adolescents, and families. One of his key accomplishments was starting the pediatric division in 2006 with the purpose of integrating primary health with behavioral health, making ICFH one of the first children’s health organizations to offer this comprehensive service.

Being one of the first agencies to provide mental health services locally, Dr. Nolan has taught, supervised, and mentored many of the child therapists in South Florida. Among his many professional activities he played a prominent role in helping to shape policies pertaining to children’s mental health in Florida. As a representative of SEDNET and Miami Dade County agencies, he frequently travelled to Tallahassee to speak to legislative planning forums and individual legislators advocating for children and families. In 1997 he presented the Children’s Mental Health Bill (Lacosta Bill) at a Senate Hearing in Tallahassee. He was also one of the founders behind the creation of Linking Forces, which is a multiagency children’s mental health conference that began in 1992.

Dr. Nolan was also a founder of the Florida Association for Play Therapy (FAPT), and served as its first President. In 2007, he was presented with the Viola Brody Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Play Therapy. Last year he was awarded the 2011 David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children award.

About ICFH

The Institute for Child and Family Health (ICFH) is a private, not-for-profit organization that has been providing health, behavioral health, educational and prevention services to the children, adolescents and families of Miami-Dade County for over 60 years. It is one of the oldest and largest community health centers exclusively dedicated to the well being of children and families in the state of Florida. ICFH serves over 30,000 children, adolescents, and families per year. For more information about ICFH, visit Become a fan on Facebook or Twitter to receive updates.


Institute for Child & Family Health (ICFH)
Alina Plasencia, 305-722-5322,
F: 305-688-3889
Communications Director