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Isador Tuerk was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his B.S. in 1930 from the Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. in 1934 from the University of Maryland. Tuerk served his internship and residency in psychiatry at the Baltimore City Hospitals. In 1939, he began a long association with the Spring Grove State Hospital. His career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was honored with the Bronze Star for distinguished service. After his return to Spring Grove, Tuerk was named superintendent in 1949, a position he held until 1960. In 1960, he was named commissioner of the Maryland State Department of Mental Health and held that post until his retirement in 1968. After his retirement, Tuerk resumed his work as a therapist at the Shepard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, and as teacher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Tuerk was widely regarded for his advocacy of outpatient community mental health as opposed to residential treatment in large state-run institutions.

Scope and Content

The Isador Tuerk Collection consists of lecture notes, correspondence files, and patient records. These materials deal primarily with the treatment of alcoholism and the deinstitutionalization of alcoholism treatment programs.

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