A longtime mental health advocate got the thanks and recognition many felt he deserved Tuesday.
Eugene Ferkich spent more than three decades volunteering his time and professional expertise at Tobinworld, a Glendale-based school that serves students with severe emotional and behavioral problems.
Before his death last year at the age of 77, the mental health expert and school psychologist was a member of Tobinworld's Peer Review/Human Rights Committee, and helped design a satellite campus in Antioch. He also was instrumental in bringing to Tobinworld Glendale a Los Angeles County mental health clinic, which now occupies one the school's five brick buildings on Broadway.
“He would never take a penny for his time,” said Executive Director Judy Weber-Israel. “We have consultants here that we pay hourly, but Gene was just so devoted to helping special-ed students that he wouldn't take a penny.”
But Weber, and several dozen members of the Tobinworld community were able to express their gratitude Wednesday by dedicating the clinic he helped to establish in their late colleague's honor.