Dr Schuyler Henderson died unexpectedly on the 21st of November 2022, in New York, the city where he was born, called home, and loved so dearly. He was 50. During a career that included positions at some of the medical field’s most renowned institutions, Dr Henderson was respected for his clinical expertise in treating children and adolescents with psychiatric issues. Through his own work and as a teacher and mentor to the next generation of clinicians, he championed vulnerable populations with empathy and respect.
Schuyler Wheelock Henderson was born on May 24, 1972, at New York University Medical Center to Paula Snorf Henderson and Schuyler Kent Henderson. After spending his early years in Brooklyn Heights and Winnetka, Illinois, he was raised in London, attending Hill House Preparatory School and St Paul’s School. He returned to the United States to attend Dartmouth College, where he majored in English literature. His undergraduate years enhanced his love of Shakespeare and, many years later, he delighted in sharing the Bard with his two eldest children.
While at Dartmouth, Schuyler spent three months working in Romania at an orphanage for severely disabled children. He was subsequently awarded Dartmouth’s Lombard Public Service Fellowship to work with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India. These experiences laid the foundation for Dr. Henderson’s future focus on vulnerable populations.
After college, Schuyler moved to Chicago, where he worked in refugee resettlement while completing his pre-med courses. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School as a James Scholar, earning his medical degree while conducting research into the mental health of refugee populations. While Schuyler matched into pediatrics at Yale and loved the program, he soon realized that he wanted to work with children and families in a different capacity and transferred to New York University/Bellevue for a residency in adult psychiatry. That began a long love affair with Bellevue Hospital and the public mental health system to which he was so devoted. He would subsequently serve as Medical Director of the Partial Hospitalization Program and Deputy Director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Bellevue. Schuyler completed a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia University, where he was a Chief Resident and a Public Psychiatry Fellow at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. He also earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Schuyler published extensively in medical journals on the topics of medical humanities, child and family mental health, refugee mental health, and children’s rights. He taught at New York University and the Mount Sinai School of Public Health and was the Deputy Editor of the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Schuyler loved spending time at home with family. He enjoyed cooking for people, especially his wife and children, while listening to his favorite radio station, WFUV, and the music that provided the soundtrack to his life. He also relished walking (and running) in Central Park, often with his family while reveling in the beauty of the park, its wildlife and, especially, its birds.
When Schuyler loved something or someone, he loved deeply and devotedly: his wife; his three children, Neko, Sunhi and Hattie; his mother and father; his brother, sister-in-law, and triplet nieces; his family; his friends; Manhattan; London; bars and restaurants; music, art and films; good jokes and laughter; making photo books for those he loved; telling stories and listening to his wife tell stories; fires in beautiful old fireplaces; reading, writing, and drawing; animals, particularly cats; games; swimming in the ocean; biking; his morning chores around the house; Christmas; traveling; coffee; steak; skinny pants and blazers; carrying on and passing down traditions; and recalling fond memories while making new ones. Schuyler Henderson is survived by his wife, Kate Zayko, his three children, Neko, Sunhi, and Henrietta, his mother, his brother Heath (Marissa), nieces (Mary Beth, Caroline, and Melissa), aunts, uncles and cousins.