Our origin and early impressions in life paves the way to who and what becomes of us. Dr. Renato De Los Santos’ formative years were spent at Sacred Heart School and were strongly influenced by their Jesuit academic guidance. He completed his Bachelors in Biology with honors at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City in the Philippines. He furthered his studies in Medicine, graduating in 1981 at the Cebu Institute of Medicine. The Christian values that he grew up with made him a socially aware and responsible physician. While doing his clinical internship and post-graduate training he was appalled to see the mentally ill caged and secured behind bars. Those who escaped were stoned, forgotten, and disappeared. Thus he made it his medical specialty of interest to understand mental illness and its treatment. He saw his calling to understand mental health, promoting wellness before crisis, and to delve into the brain that embodies the mind.
He also had the opportunity to train in medicine and neurology at Cook County Hospital and the University of Illinois and in psychiatry at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute in Chicago where he garnered the Chief Resident position. He became board certified in psychiatry and neurology, and he has been practicing since 1989. Over the years he never lost the vision to raise awareness of mental health across other medical specialties. This is what led him to create the Foundation for International Mental Health and Rehabilitation. The Foundation was registered and established in Chicago, Illinois, with the support of Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital as its training center in the United States.
Dr. De Los Santos professional experiences have been motivated by his quest to learn and experience the spectrum of psychiatric disorders. He trained in psychopharmacology under renowned researchers and has extensive experience in a spectrum of psychotherapeutic modalities, which include: general psychiatry, child and adolescent programs, adult mood disorders, chronic mental disorders, geriatric psychiatry, chemical dependency, and forensic psychology.
For the last 12 years he has been serving as the Geriatric Service Line Director at Alexian Brothers Health Systems in collaboration with the Alexian Neuroscience Center. He is also privileged to be a national speaker for Avanir Pharmaceuticals on Nudexa for the treatment of Pseudo Balbar Effect.
The underlying correlation of the complexities of neurological conditions and manifestations associated with psychiatric symptoms has helped reinforce his philosophy of clinical practice that there is no dichotomy of the mind and body, that the appreciation of a comprehensive medical, psychosocial and psychodynamic model truly serves the patients best interests with the best treatment outcome. Beyond compassion and empathy a patient becomes a person not just a failing organ or disease.
Dr. De Los Santos believes that he is blessed with friends and colleagues who were catalysts to the founding of the Foundation for International Mental Health and Rehabilitation (FIMHR), humanitarians who champion the cause for mental illness, a medical disease that deserves equal opportunity for treatment and affording those afflicted with it, respect and dignity. The vision is to spread awareness of this major issue breaking down the myth and stigma of mental illness around the world and in the United States. In collaboration with Alexian Brothers, FIMHR has implemented educational programs to identify mental health issues, crisis intervention, integrated behavioral health programs in the community, and partnered with community-based organizations. Dr. De Los Santos believes that the torment of mental illness and the echoing scream of anguishing sadness and despair have all been regarded with fear and indifference. Like cancer remitting after treatment, a quality of life can be restored with emotional and mental health care. It is unbearable to be silent. His advocacy is his voice – faint and distant. Please speak with him so that the world may hear us loud and clear.