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In Memoriam: W. Leonard Hill, Jr.

February 25, 2015

W. Leonard Hill, Jr., LCSW, BCD, of North Haven, Connecticut, died suddenly at home on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, of cardiac arrest. He was 68 years old. He retired in 2014 from a long career in social work and psychiatry as a clinician, administrator, teacher, and mentor at Yale University, Smith College School for Social Work, and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Throughout his career, he had a small private practice in individual, marital, and family therapy and was a frequent clinical and healthcare consultant. The son of Walter L. and Eleanor Hill, he was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in Towson, Maryland. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Susan G. Hill of North Haven; his daughter Amy Hill of Washington, DC; his sister Jeanne Kangas (Donald) of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son Philip Hill, his parents, and his stepmother, Ruth Iglehart Hill. He was also well loved by his surviving sisters and brothers-in law, stepsister and brothers, and his many friends and colleagues.

Mr. Hill earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from Western Maryland College in 1968, an M. Div. from Yale Divinity School in 1972, and an M.S.W. from Smith College School for Social Work in 1975. He was Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Social Work), Yale School of Medicine, from 1977 until the present and was Clinical Professor, School for Social Work, Smith College, from 1989 onward.

In his academic and clinical capacities, he gave a myriad of lectures and seminars on marital and family treatment and supervised trainees from all the disciplines of mental health. He loved to teach and was especially appreciative of the "Outstanding Teaching Award" that he received from students of Yale University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry (Psychology Section) for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In accord with his great commitment to the quality of mental health professional training and accreditation, he served nationally on the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work from 2004-2011, and as their Vice President from 2006-2011. For the first twenty-five years of his career, Mr. Hill worked at the Yale Psychiatric Institute, serving at various times as Director of Admissions, Coordinator of Family Therapy, Director of Social Work, Director of Training (staff development and graduate/professional training in all mental health disciplines), Director of the Community Services Division, and Director of Specialty Clinics. After the Institute merged with Yale-New Haven Hospital, he served as Social Work Manager (2000-2009) and most recently as Adult Outpatient Service Manager, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital.

Leonard Hill was a kind and loving husband and father; an intelligent, witty, and engaging friend; a resourceful and loyal colleague; a committed and compassionate mentor; and a fierce advocate for quality mental health care.

His family has requested that memorial donations be sent to the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Suite 901, 300 George St, New Haven, CT 06511.

Submitted by Shane Seger on February 25, 2015