Remembering Shirley Smoyak

Date: April 22, 2022

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Shirley Smoyak, Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University and former IFH member, passed away.

Shirley A. Smoyak passed away peacefully at home on April 1, 2022, at age 86. She had been Professor at the Rutgers College of Nursing and the Bloustein School since 1960 until her retirement, had reached the rank of Distinguished Professor, and was a member of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research.

“Shirley was a person with great tenacity and a pioneer and leader in psychiatric nursing. She was devoted to her students and very much loved and admired by them. She advocated vigorously and persistently for persons with mental illness, and her efforts and scholarly achievements will be long remembered.”David Mechanic, PhD, founding director, Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research

“Shirley was particularly known for her tireless advocacy for the well-being of people with severe mental illness, particularly those cared for in New Jersey state hospitals. She was a court-appointed member of the Doe v. Klein Monitoring Body, whose role was to oversee Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, (GPPH) from 1977 to 2012, chairing that group and reporting to the court on conditions. She was the 1991 recipient of the Rutgers Presidential Award for Distinguished Public Service and was an exemplar for generations of students in standing up for better treatment for vulnerable people.”Stephen Crystal, PhD, Director, Rutgers Center for Health Services Research and Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers School of Social Work

Our hearts go out to Shirley’s family and loved ones as we remember her life.

Please click here for her obituary.