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Felix Andrakovich

August 9, 1929 April 21, 2017
Felix Andrakovich
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Obituary for Felix Andrakovich

Felix Andrakovich, MD, died peacefully April 21, 2017, at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. He was 87 years old.

Dr. Andrakovich was born August 9, 1929, in Argentina to Catalina (nee Brandafi) and Felix Andrakovich of Croatian heritage.

As a surgeon he was invited and trained under the direction of Dr. Ricardo Finocchieto a world reknowned surgeon. As a result of his excellence in the field he became a part of the surgical team with Dr. Rene Favaloro, that performed the first Heart By-Pass Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 1960. He arrived in the United States and began re-licensing procedures to practice surgery. Unfortunately the wait would be lengthy. In order to accelerate his career, he chose to enter the field of Psychiatry which was in high demand. His astute knowledge and advancements in Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression launched another rise in his medical career as Director of the Outpatient Clinic, Pontiac, MI., July 1964.

By proposing and initiating short psychiatric visits and group therapy sessions in conjunction with multi-pharmacology treatments he soon was in great demand to give lectures to general practitioners and teaching courses to resident doctors which proved to be highly effective. This streamlining in psychiatric care eliminated overlapping of services with other agencies resulting in improved results benefiting the patient and a much better outcome for participating agencies.

As Director he championed a psychiatric program that included day and night hospital services, grew from 250 to 3000 patients. Through his diligent intervention and concern, funds were appropriated from the Burton Hill funds. This supervisory position demanded intense Interactions with the Department of Mental Health, Board of Supervisors of Oakland County and Courts, Michigan Commissioners of Mental Health which generated grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to expand Community Mental Health in Oakland County.

This community involvement lead to his acceptance of Director of Psychiatric Services at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Teaching and mentoring were very much a part of his medical career and he would continue to educate residents, interns and nurses in addition to supervising and staffing cases in conference throughout his 60 years in medicine.

In 1967, Dr. Andrakovich was invited to open a Psychiatric Unit in William Beaumont Hospital acting as Chief Coordinator and Staff Physician. Commencing with 14 beds on 6 North the unit grew with a second unit on 7 North, adding 28 beds and 2 seclusion rooms; extending the capacity to 90 beds. The service became most notorious in the country and always had a waiting list through the 70’s and 80’s. In the interim he was Appointed Clinical Professor in Psychiatry Michigan State University.

In January 1987, after a brief semi-retirement, he was asked to become the Director of the Department of Psychiatry at Madison Community Hospital in Madison Hts, MI. He initiated Day Treatment Programs, Outpatient Drug Abuse and Detoxification programs.

In 1996 he closed his private practice in Royal Oak and once again was sought to provide guidance and supervision for the establishment and implementation of psychiatric procedures for Comprehensive Geriatric Services in Metro Detroit area nursing home facilities in 1998. His humanitarian nature and love of medicine was hard to set aside. He was off on yet another purposeful adventure.

Utilizing his analytical approach to psychiatric medicine he was a pioneer in the use of tricyclics for pain, panic and obsessive states when other doctors looked on with skepticism. He was a mentor to many and an inspiration to many others.

On a personal side, he was a strong soccer fan. He initiated two soccer teams, The Golden Kickers and Second Wind, which under his constant eye and training produced award winning teams season after season in the City of Troy. His love for his birth country was acknowledged as President of the Argentine Association of Detroit. He loved to play chess, and paint, produced beautiful works of art for his wife’s fund raisers as well as for family. There was always a purpose to everything he initiated or produced. His life with his wife, was a joy as it merged his love for science and the arts in which they were both very active. He loved to entertain guests anywhere at anytime. Barbecues and Malbec made a perfect scenario for any occasion, just to be with friends.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 28 years, Carolina Andrakovich, and his children, Felix Peter (Lou-Anne) Andrakovich, Susan Haddrill, Christina Compton, and Juan (Dana) Andrakovich. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren, his amazingly accomplished sister, physician and pathologist; Dr. Maria Andrakovich, M.D. and her family of West Palm Beach, FL. He was preceded in death by his son, John Andrakovich and granddaughter Madelyn Compton.

Visitation will take place at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Rd. (between 14-15 Mile Rds.), Thursday 3-8pm. Sharing of Memories 7pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Lucy Catholic Church, 200 E. Wattles Rd., Troy, Friday 10am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9:30am.

Following Mass, burial will take place in White Chapel Cemetery, Troy.

Memorials appreciated to Beaumont Foundation, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, Michigan 48007.

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