Jennie and John Volpe
Jennie and John Volpe

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.

 

Mass. Mental Health Center Under Greenblatt
Mass. Mental Health Center Under Greenblatt

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.

Havens, LL: Dependency & Motivation, 1964

Havens, LL: “This is the Boston Experience”, St. Louise Speech, June 1971

Havens, LL: Psychiatric Annals “Youth, violence, and the nature of family life”, 1972 Volume 2, Pg 18-29

News of Governor Volpe’s appointment of Havens as administrator for region VI under the state’s mental health and retardation re-organization program.

Catchman Area Map
Catchman Area Map

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 letter to Ted Kennedy about rehabilitation issues, 1962

1968 Regional Appointment
1968 Regional Appointment

Ted Kennedy’s response to Havens about rehabilitation issues, 1962

Havens letter to Ted Kennedy outlining rehabilitation principles, 1962 

Letter from Judge Lawrence Shubow

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: Motivation: It’s Sources and Strategies. Talk given at Dependency and Motivation Workshop, Northeastern University, April 12-17, 1964

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)

Cubelli, GE; Lavis, J and Havens, LL: Hospital-based vocational rehabilitation programs. Mental Hygiene, 49:501-506, 1965

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)

Letter from Governor Volpe, 1968 

Cubelli, GE and Havens, LL: The expanding role of psychiatric rehabilitation. Progress in Community Mental Health edited by L Bellak and H Barton. 1:167-178, 1969

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

Havens, LL: Problems in Mental Health Manpower Training, date unknown

Havens, LL: The Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and the Mental Hospital, date unknown

Havens, LL: Medical importance of Freeport letter, date unknown