Marlene Mieske is a registered nurse who has spent the past 35 years working with the mentally ill in Boston and New York City. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, she was involved in implementing the de-institutionalization and community mental health policies of that time. She went on to coordinate the Special Studies Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. During that time, the clinic conducted the NIMH fluphenazine-decanoate study along with other significant clinical research involving schizophrenia and major depression.
In New York City, Mieske became the first director of psychiatric nursing at Lenox Hill Hospital. In that role, she was instrumental in opening the first psychiatric inpatient unit as well as the first support group for hospital staff taking care of AIDS patients in the early 1980s. After leaving Lenox Hill, she continued her commitment to the mentally ill by working in a day treatment program for people challenged by mental illness and drug addiction.
Presently, Mieske’s focus has shifted to supporting the mentally ill in a broader context. As a member of the Board of Trustees of Fountain House—a club house for the mentally ill in New York City—she is developing and implementing a special education project to help reduce the stigma of mental illness among health care providers and the general public. Mieske’s other interests include participating on the board of PROMISE, at Columbia Presbyterian hospital which supports undeserved children with attention and learning disabilities, and serving on the board of advisers at the New York Civil Right Coalition.
Mieske is a graduate of Albany Memorial School of Nursing and earned her bachelor of science and master of science degrees in nursing from Boston College, with honors. She is married with two sons and resides in New York City.