Robert D. Award Recipients

This award is named in honor of Dr. Robert McCormick, first President of the Latino Psychological Association of NJ (now LMHANJ). In addition, to be an original founder of the organization in 1999, Dr. McCormick served as Director of the Center for Child Advocacy and Policy, Professor at Montclair State University, and private practice practitioner in Montclair, NJ. The Robert D. McCormick award is given in recognition of a member’s outstanding contributions to the Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey. The pillars of the award are founded on advocacy, training, research and mentorship to the New Jersey Latinx community. The Robert D. McCormick awards are announced at the annual conference.


Recipient of 2023: Ricardo Martinez

Dr. Ricardo Martinez is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of perpetrators and survivors of sexual abuse, combat veterans, and other trauma survivors. He holds an MA in Psychology with a Latina/o Mental Health focus from Montclair State University and MS and PhD degrees in clinical/forensic psychology from Fordham University.  His areas of research and training include forensic psychology, cross disciplinary treatment of trauma, mindfulness based psychotherapy, personality disorders, and Latino Mental health. Dr. Martinez holds clinical positions at the Department of Veteran Affairs Bloomfield Vet Center and at Hoboken University Medical Center. Dr. Martinez also provides consultation services to clinical teams serving or managing individuals with personality and conduct disorders, sexually abusive behaviors, and risk of violence. He has been a member and supporter of the Latino Mental Health Association since the first days of the organization as the late Dr. Robert McCormack was one of his earliest mentors.



Recipient of 2022: Jesselly De La Cruz, DSW

Jesselly De La Cruz, BA in Political Science (Rider University), MSW (Rutgers University), and DSW (Rutgers University), is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NJ. She completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy at The Multicultural Family Institute, Inc. in Highland Park, NJ. Having originated from an underprivileged background and being a child of an immigrant family herself, Dr. De La Cruz’s education and work has been motivated by her desire to support traditionally underserved populations. Towards that overarching goal, she has worked with Latino advocacy nonprofit agencies. She currently serves as Executive Director for the Latino Action Network Foundation. Her clinical experience includes providing emergency screening of persons in mental health crisis at an inner city hospital, outpatient and in-home child and family therapy, and clinical consultation for nursing homes with primarily Spanish-speaking residents. In addition, she has extensive experience working in the prevention of child sexual abuse by conducting forensic evaluations, individual, group and family therapy at an intensive outpatient program for court mandated youth who have sexually abused and/or have fire setting behaviors. Jesselly has also coordinated the psychological treatment of child sexual abuse survivors and their non-offending families in Hudson County, NJ. She currently serves as Clinical Director for sexual assault program in Bergen County. Dr. De La Cruz is Past President and a Lifetime Member of the Latino Mental Health Association of NJ and Clinical and Research Member of the NJ Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. She is committed to dedicating her time to using her skills to help organizations that serve to support and empower Latino communities, BIPOC and LGBT youth, and families living below the federal poverty limit.


Are you the next Robert D. McCormick recipient? Become an active member of LMHANJ by volunteering with one of our committees!