KENOSHA - The University of Wisconsin-Parkside recently honored Dr. Herbert Roehrich of Racine for his work in the community. Roehrich ('87, Biological Sciences), a psychiatrist, received the university's 2008 Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
It was while attending divinity school in Illinois that Dr. Roehrich was first called to return home.
"He decided he could better serve society as a medical practitioner than as a minister," said nominator Dr. Anna Maria Williams. "He chose the new and growing premedical program at UW-Parkside for his preparation."
After attending UW-Parkside, Dr. Roehrich was off again, to Madison for his doctorate and to Virginia, Michigan, and New Jersey for post doctoral training.
In 1987, while serving as the director of the National Cocaine Hotline, he visited UW-Parkside and local physicians convinced him to return home again. Since then, he has earned a legion of admirers.
"Dr. Roehrich is one of the best psychiatrists I have had the pleasure to work with," said UW-Parkside Clinical Professor Ed Conrad who is a licensed clinical psychologist. "He is the first person I think of when I need consultation regarding a psychiatric issue."
"He works with each person, even if they do not have the means to pay, and makes sure they receive the medications they need even when they cannot afford them," said another nominator.
He consults for the Public Defender offices in Racine and Kenosha counties, doing much of this work without pay due to limited budgets. Using the same pro bono arrangement, he consulted on UW-Parkside Professor Helen Rosenberg's research on geriatric alcohol abuse, providing "strong support...regarding older adult use of substances and the individual and community impact of this," Dr. Rosenberg said.
Since returning home again, Williams said Dr. Roehrich has "advanced his profession and made a significant difference in Racine and Kenosha."
The award was presented during commencement ceremonies in May at the Alfred and Bernice De Simone Gymnasium of the Sports and Activity Center on the UW-Parkside campus.