Judge Steven Leifman Receives the Pardes Humanitarian Prize

Pardes Prize Awarded

The Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health was awarded to Judge Steven Leifman, associate administrative judge in Miami-Dade County and Chairman of the Board of the South Florida Behavioral Health Network, for his leadership in reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jail and prison.  The Honorary Pardes Humanitarian Prize was presented to Bob and the late Suzanne Wright, the founders of Autism Speaks, for their unparalleled leadership in advancing autism research and increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder. 


The awards were presented to Judge Leifman and Bob Wright by, Dr. Herb Pardes, President of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation's Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. 


Dr. Pardes said, "Psychiatry and mental health are important in virtually all aspects of human interaction. While our Foundation's other awards focus on research for brain and behavior disorders, the Pardes Humanitarian Prize was developed from our Board Chairman Steve Lieber's original idea to take special note of people and organizations whose humanitarian work is transformative and of great magnitude. This international Prize, selected by an extraordinary committee of psychiatric leaders, celebrates those who have made a profound and lasting impact on mental health."  

SFBHN Welcomes Dr. John Newcomer!

South Florida Behavioral Health Network has announced that John W. Newcomer, M.D. has been named its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.  Dr. Newcomer was previously Professor of Integrated Medical Science at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. He has been a principal investigator on research grants funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 20 years and has held a series of leadership positions at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Miami Miller School, and at FAU where he served as Vice Dean and Interim Vice President for Research.


Dr. Newcomer has received numerous honors and awards, including an Independent Scientist Award from the NIH and placement on the Thomson Reuters List of Highly Cited Researchers in 2014. Dr. Newcomer has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology since 2006, has served as a reviewer for the NIH and other funding agencies, and since 2007, has been a member of the Metabolic Disorders Steering Committee of the Biomarkers Consortium of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In the public sector for 13 years, he was Chair of the Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board for the State of Missouri, supporting public oversight for more than $1B in pharmacy program expenditures. Dr. Newcomer completed his psychiatry residency at Stanford University, received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree Magna Cum Laude from Brown University. He is a Diplomate from the American Board of Psychiatry.


“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead South Florida Behavioral Health Network, an organization that is responsible for the mental health and substance use disorder care of more than 60,000 residents of Miami Dade and Monroe counties, serving a community of almost 3 million,” said Dr. Newcomer. “I look forward to working with our outstanding staff to help our providers improve the quality of care for patients. With a high prevalence of mental illness and substance abuse, South Florida represents one of the nation’s areas of significant unmet need. I hope to shine the spotlight on the mental health and substance issues we face and access more funding to match the need.”


Judge Steve Leifman, chairman of the board of SFBHN, served on the search committee and remarked, “John brings a wealth of knowledge from his background as a psychiatrist and expert in the field who will promote better access and quality of care for the people of South Florida who rely on mental health and substance abuse treatment. Working from an excellent foundation, I’m confident that Dr. Newcomer will help people with mental health and substance abuse disorders get the highest level of care possible.” 

Opioid Crisis In South Florida

Watch SFBHN's Chief Operating Officer Laura Naredo discuss a new opioid pilot program on WPBT and WXEL

Employment - Opportunities with SFBHN

Information regarding new oportunities with SFBHN can be found in


Peer Services Manager


Care Coordinator- Jail In-Reach Team


QA/QI Specialist

Nondiscrimination Statement


In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as well as other applicable local and state regulations, all SFBHN programs and services are available to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation. If you feel that you have been subjected to some form of discrimination by South Florida Behavioral Health Network or any of its employees, volunteers, or providers, then please contact: Jessica Rodriguez, Contract Management Supervisor, at (305) 858-3335.