Thriving Mind South Florida’s President CEO, John W. Newcomer, M.D., would like to express his deepest condolences on behalf of our Board of Directors, Leadership and Staff to Mr. Publio M. Santana’s family and friends.
Mr. Santana died last week. He was one of the very first employees of Fellowship House, a Thriving Mind provider and an original Thriving Mind Board Member.
Mr. Santana started working at Fellowship House in 1974 and became the Executive Director in 1994. After his retirement in 2014 as President and CEO, he served on the organization’s Board of Directors.
“Mr. Santana was an early adopter of the Florida model for mental health treatment, which is now a nationally competitive model for the uninsured,” Dr. Newcomer said.
Mr. Santana dedicated his professional career to Fellowship House. He navigated countless changes in mental health funding and expertly ensured the agency’s ability to continue its mission of serving our members.
Thousands of people experiencing mental illness had access to care because of his vision, persistence, and his profound belief in the work Fellowship House does.
“Publio also believed in our staff. He established a culture of promoting from within. He encouraged education, personal growth and trying work you may not have considered before. He had a hand in so many careers. You would be hard-pressed to find any local stakeholder in behavioral health without at least one employee who got their start at Fellowship House,” according to a statement Fellowship House posted on its social media.
Mr. Santana liked to call Fellowship House the “best Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center on planet Earth.”
Next year, Fellowship House will celebrate its 50th Anniversary.
“Our success, growth and longevity are owed in a big part to him. He will be missed,” the statement said.