Jack C. Westman

Jack C. Westman

Jack C. Westman / October 28, 1927 – April 2, 2019

Dr. Westman pioneered the community interdisciplinary team approach to families with children and adolescents who have significant mental health and behavioral problems. His Child Advocacy Teams developed in the 1970s expanded to become Coordinated Services Teams in Wisconsin and ultimately Wraparound Teams nationally.

Dr. Westman was born on October 28, 1927, the son of Conrad A. and Alice E. Pederson Westman. He graduated from Cadillac High School in 1945 and obtained an M.D. in 1952. He interned at Duke University and married Nancy Kathryn Baehre on July 17, 1953. He served for two years with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and completed a residency in adult and child and adolescent psychiatry with a M.S. in 1960 at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Westman was on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Michigan until 1965 when he established the Child Psychiatry Division at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He was the editor of Child Psychiatry and Human Development, president of the American Association of Psychiatric Services, president of the Multidisciplinary Academy of Clinical Education, president of the Wisconsin Council of child an Adolescent Psychiatry, and president of Wisconsin Cares, Inc., a non-profit advocacy organization for families.

With his wife, Nancy, Dr. Westman was a founder in 1968 of Project Understanding, a Mississippi-Wisconsin exchange program, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and in 2000 of Canyon Scholars, a scholarship program for Tarahumara Indian youth in the Copper Canyon of Mexico.

Dr. Westman wrote over 150 publications and fourteen books – his last book published in March, 2019- and received the following awards: Wisconsin Association for Mental Health Award for Service to Children and Citizen of the Year Award; Wisconsin Judicial College Teaching Award; American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children Award for Outstanding Service to Child Mental Health; Prevent Child Abuse America Donna J. Stone Award; American Psychiatric Association Agnes Purcell McGavin Award. His pioneering work with interdisciplinary child advocacy teams that included families led to Coordinated Services Teams in Wisconsin and Wraparound Teams nationally.

Dr. Westman was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Nancy, and son Daniel. He is survived by his sons John and Eric; his grandchildren Matthew, Laura, Carly, Peter, Megan, Eric, Luke, Clay, Alexander; and his sister Carolyn Swanson.

Services will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Canyon Scholars, Inc. at “Canyon Scholars, c/o Tom Pierce, 5595 Tancho Drive, Apt 104, Madision, WI, 53718-1954”.