Anthony E. (Tony) DiSalvo, PhD, former associate administrator at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), died January 28 at the age of 83.
DiSalvo, who lived in Hamden, worked at CMHC until 1987 and held a concurrent lecturer appointment in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. He was remembered by former colleagues as a capable, kind, and thoughtful administrator who put the needs of patients and the community first.
“Tony DiSalvo was a manager's administrator,” said Ezra Griffith, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and former director of CMHC, who worked closely with DiSalvo for a number of years. “He touched staff and patients with his compassion and commitment. He helped me on many an occasion with his knowledge and state-wide contacts. He was skilled at the politics of mental health administration.”
Selby Jacobs, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and former director of CMHC, counted DiSalvo as a friend.
“He was deeply committed to the community and also an effective and creative administrator,” Jacobs said. “He negotiated difficult times in his career and emerged a highly constructive and generative leader and manager. I will miss him.”
DiSalvo’s career touched other areas besides the mental health field. He was an assistant superintendent of schools in Gardner, Mass., and CFO of Cello, LTD and Viola Audio Labs.
He made community service a priority. At the time of his death, he served on the Regional Water Authority Board of Directors, and for the last 11 years was its chair. He was treasurer of the Integrated Refugee and Immigration Service, the International Association of New Haven, and the Visiting Nurse Association of New Haven. He was the former president of the Greater New Haven Manufacturers’ Association and Cornerstone, Inc., and was a commissioner for the Connecticut Board of Mental Health and Quinnipiac Valley Health District.
“Tony was truly special,” said Roz Liss, MPH, former administrator in the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit at CMHC and a former lecturer in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. “He was always patient, kind, and thoughtful. He even put up with my coming in to see him at the very last minute with my usual crises. We had wonderful days working together and he certainly made many things possible. His passing is a true loss to friends, family, and the greater community.”
DiSalvo is survived by his loving partner, Judith Normandin; son, Scott A. DiSalvo; daughter, Doreen DiSalvo, and numerous other family members.