Lycaki Young Fund demonstrates the positive impact of academic medicine

By Doug Skrzyniarz

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Lafayette Clinic.  Lafayette served as the city of Detroit and Wayne County’s only inpatient mental health hospital.  The facility also hosted critically important outpatient services, substance abuse programs, and was the primary host site for training psychiatrists. All of this was put at-risk when the state announced it was closing Lafayette. 

In response to the potential crisis, the former director of state mental health, Jim Haveman, worked with Wayne State University to take on the clinical and teaching responsibilities previously hosted at Lafayette Clinic. Helene Lycaki, psychologist in the WSU department of Psychiatry, led the effort at Wayne State and created what is now known as the Lycaki Young Fund.  Director Haveman and Dr. Lycaki added one more key member of their team, State Senator Joe Young, who was the lead sponsor in the legislature to make sure there was enough funding to pay for the clinical and teaching services.  While Helene Lycaki and Joe Young are no longer with us, Director Haveman has continued to be a big supporter of the Lycaki Young Fund and has become an international leader on public mental health.

After 25 years, what has the fund accomplished? 

  • Trained more than 300 residents, of which approximately 80% stay in the state of Michigan to practice
  • Serves more than 50,000 Medicaid and uninsured patients per year
  • Has administered more than 43,000 doses of methadone per year
  • Conducts approximately 3,000 therapy session per year
  • Treats more than 2,500 pediatric patients per year for severe mental illness and substance abuse
  • Has developed and implemented new treatment protocols that have decreased hospitalization by 90% and reduced use of restraints by 50%
  • Has saved state Medicaid more than $100 million since 2005

The Lycaki Young Fund has been a great example of community leadership and the important impact of Academic Medicine.  Looking toward the future, the Chair of the WSU Department of Psychiatry, Dr. David Rosenberg, expects even greater success and impact.  


WSU School of Medicine students and Board of Governors member Michael Busuito visited Lansing on March 1 to meet with legislators to advocate for the continuation of the Lycaki Young Fund


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