Bella Schimmel, MD in Remebrance
Dr. Bella Schimmel passed on January 26, 2022, after a lifetime as a researcher, educator, and care provider in the field of Psychology.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Dr. Schimmel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from the University of Michigan in 1948, before returning home to earn her MD from the University of Maryland in 1952. She would later go on to earn a PhD in Psychoanalysis from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute in 1977. Her extensive training included residencies in Pediatrics at UCLA and in Psychiatry at the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital, as well as a Fellowship for Training in Child Psychiatry at the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center from 1964 to 1966. As a researcher, she published work on a wide range of topics, including art therapy and psychoanalytic treatment. In her private practice, she provided psychiatric and psychoanalytic care to both children and adults. In addition to her private practice work, Dr. Schimmel also acted as Medical Director for the South Bay Child Guidance Clinic and the Belmar Child and Family Center.
Dr. Schimmel was deeply committed to education in the fields of Psychoanalysis and Child Psychology. As an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA, she trained fellows and residents in Child Psychiatry from 1970 to 2004. Dr. Schimmel also served on the board of Reiss-Davis Graduate School, where she was instrumental in its development and growth into the program it is today. She was also an active community member and volunteer, serving as Board Chairman for the Widow’s Center from 1980 to 2000 and as Board member for Alternative Living for Aging, which provided housing assistance to seniors in Los Angeles.
Dr. Bella Schimmel was married to Dr. Penrose Desser and the mother of Ed Desser, Bill Desser, Evelyn Desser, and Harriet Shaham. She was also a grandmother to Matthew Shaham, Daniel Shaham, Matti Desser, and Penn Desser.