Breakfast with Governor John Volpe and Mrs. Volpe
A registered nurse before she married, Mrs. Volpe graduated from a nursing program at Winchester Hospital and trained at Bellevue Hospital in New York City before marrying John Volpe in 1934.
(excerpted from obituary by Bryan Marquard , Boston Globe)
It was she who urged Governor Volpe to appoint Havens as someone who would have been the youngest Commissioner of Mental Health in Massachusetts, a job Havens was very ambivalent about. The “Breakfast with the Volpe’s story” is one that Havens enjoyed telling years later. He and Mrs. Volpe engaged themselves in a wonderful far-reaching conversation about the state of the mental health facilities in Massachusetts. When the Governor asked Havens what his ultimate goal would be he replied, “To close all of the mental hospitals and care for people within their communities”, thus Havens undermined his own chances of being commissioner.
Milton Greenblatt became commissioner of mental health from 1967 to 1972, He was a pioneer in deinstitutionalization, thus carrying out some of Havens’s proposals. During his five-year tenure, he cut the number of patients in state hospitals nearly in half through the introduction of day-care programs, mental health clinics, halfway houses and other innovative programs.
News of Governor Volpe’s appointment of Havens as administrator for region VI under the state’s mental health and retardation re-organization program.
Leston Havens was the Chief Psychiatric Consultant to the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission from 1962-1965. From 1962-1965, he ran the Harvard medical student rehabilitation internship program. These positions culminated in his becoming the Mental Health Administrator for Region VI Boston and Brookline. Ted Kennedy entered the Senate special election in 1962 to fill the seat once held by his brother John. Immediately Havens began a written correspondence with him concerning the problems with the current state mental health rehabilitation services. Both Kennedy and Havens remained committed to health care issues throughout their careers.
Havens, LL and Harding, FA: Rehabilitating the mentally disabled. Journal of Rehabilitation, 6:22-23 and 43-46, 1961 (Contact the journal website or The Center for The History of Medicine, The Countway Library Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, USA)
Wolfe, HE; Havens, LL and Jenks, NK: The psychiatric patient and the state vocational rehabilitation agency: a nationwide survey of state agency practices. Mental Hygiene, 47:552-561, 1963 (Contact the journal website or The Center for The History of Medicine, The Countway Library Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, USA)
Havens, LL: Mass Rehab Commission Report, June 1964
Havens, LL: Skills and personality required to effectively counsel the emotionally ill. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Speculation: Cause and Effect edited by WM Holbert. Georgia, April 1965, pp 29-38 (Contact the journal website or The Center for The History of Medicine, The Countway Library Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, USA)
Havens, LL and Cubelli, GE: The psychiatrist and the state vocational rehabilitation agency. American Journal of Psychiatry, 123:1094-1099, 1967 (Contact the journal website or The Center for The History of Medicine, The Countway Library Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, USA)
Havens, LL: Dependence: definitions and strategies. Rehabilitation Record, 8:(2):23-28, 1967. Also appeared in Things That Matter: On Helping Relationships edited by H Rubenstein. New York: Macmillan, 1981