Ann Martin Center was founded in 1963 in memory of Dr. Ann Martin, a pioneering physician in our community who emphasized the importance of prevention and early intervention for social, emotional, behavioral, developmental and educational problems in childhood.
Dr. Martin obtained her medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. A California native, she returned to practice in Oakland. As a pediatrician keenly interested in preventive and early treatment services for children, she was instrumental in founding the Child Development Center affiliated with Children's Hospital of the East Bay. The Child Development Center offered a wide range of services including diagnostic evaluations, individual and group treatment, nursery school groups for normal and disturbed children, and counseling with parents. The training of professional staff was an integral part of the program.
Changes in government funding in 1953 forced Children's Hospital to drastically cut back programs at the Child Development Center. At this crossroads, Dr. Martin proposed the creation of an independent center for counseling, tutoring, and training based on flexible, fee-for-service operation independent of government bureaucracy. The intention was also to respond to specific needs of the community.
Dr. Martin died in 1963 and her will specified that funds from her estate be used to promote preventive, educational, treatment, and training services in the East Bay. From this generous gift and following the will of his mentor, Ann Martin's protégé, Dr. Fred Stricker established the "Ann Martin Foundation" in 1963. He became the first Board President. Since then the Clinical and Learning Programs were established to promote emotional health and school success in youth.