When C. Charles Burlingame, M.D. came to The Hartford Retreat in 1931 as superintendent, he was taking on what he described as a “stunning challenge.”  The Retreat had not fared well in the years surrounding the stock market crash of 1929.  The death of hospital superintendent Whitefeld Thompson, M.D. in 1930 had also taken its toll on the spirit of The Retreat.
During his tenure at The Retreat, the medical and nursing staffs were increased and additional personnel were brought in to carry out ambitious programs of patient education.  At the same time, an aggressive program was begun to improve the hospital facilities.  Within six years, Dr. Burlingame had created a model community where patients could receive the best in psychiatric treatment, while relearning the skills of daily living.  But improved facilities and excellence in patient care were only part of Dr. Burlingame’s plan for the hospital; he intended it to become an institution which fostered the exploration of mental illness and the mind through research, and the development of mental health professionals through education.
Although more than 50 years have passed since Dr. Burlingame’s death, his mark is clearly visible on the institution to which he devoted the last 19 years of his life.  The Digest of Neurology and Psychiatry has been published without interruption since 1932, and the Institute staff continue to gather for weekly lectures (Grand Rounds).  The education of nurses has changed in focus, but resident physicians continue to receive training at The Institute, as do social workers, occupational therapists, and psychologists.
Today The Institute of Living is part of Hartford Hospital, serving as its behavioral health division.  As we focus our efforts ever more intently on the value which research and education bring to our system of care, The Institute acknowledges its debt to the vision and dedication of Dr. Burlingame.  The Burlingame Award was established in 1988 and has been presented annually since in recognition of outstanding leadership and lifetime achievement in psychiatric research and education.
Recipients of the C. Charles Burlingame, M.D. Award

2013     Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
2012     Judith Rapoport, M.D.
2011     Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D.
2010     Professor Sir Michael Rutter, M.D.
2009     David J. Kupfer, M.D.
2008     K. Ranga Rama Krishnan, M.D.
2007     Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, M.D.
2006     Daniel N. Stern, M.D.
2005     Herbert D. Kleber, M.D.
2004     David H. Barlow, Ph.D.
2003     Dilip V. Jeste, M.D.
2002     Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.
2001     Paul S. Applebaum, M.D.
2000     Lewis L. Judd, M.D.
1999     Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.
1998     Lissy F. Jarvik, M.D., Ph.D.
1997     Glen Gabbard, M.D.
1996     Charles O’Brien, M.D.
1995     Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.
1994     Maurice J. Martin, M.D.
1993     John C. Nemiah, M.D.
1992     A. John Rush, M.D.
1991     George Vaillant, M.D.
1990     Dennis Cantwell, M.D.
1989     William Carpenter, M.D.
1988     Robert Kellner, M.D.