Dad5On Thursday, July 2, our President and founder — our father and our friend — died after a long struggle with the health problems he has faced for the last several years.

He founded New Oakland more than 25 years ago to help people find the care they need to build and rebuild their lives — often when other parts of our mental health system could not find a place for them or find a way to take an interest in them.

Because of that commitment, he touched the lives of tens of thousands people all over our community — so many of them children and teens and families — people who came to him when they were hurting.

Those many thousands of people found him because they heard about his care, patience, insight and dedication to healing — and that is why they come to us now — to each one of you and to all of us together — to carry on that important job.

As an organization, his commitment to being a place where people come when they need care has always been our guiding light and that will always will be true.

We have grown so much in recent years that many of you may not have known Dr. Sendi directly. He was funny and smart and fearless and the hardest working person you will ever know. He never shied away from a fight and he fought hard to stay with us for as long as he could.

And whether you knew him just a little or a lot or not at all, if you have been touched by the New Oakland Family, then you have benefitted from his expertise, care, warmth and kindness.

We will miss you, Dr. Sendi. So very much. We’ll always try to do what you would have done.