Hawaii Psychologist, Businessman Dennis McLaughlin to be Remembered at Celebration of Life Mass, March 26

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Dennis George McLaughlin, 70, clinical psychologist, internationally published author, and co-founder of Care Hawaii Inc., died March 3, 2010.

Born in Flushing, New York, on December 19, 1939, Dennis moved to Hawaii in high school, and achieved several track and field records before graduating from Punahou School in 1958.


Committed to a life of learning, Dennis obtained his BA in psychology and economics from UCLA in 1963, an MA in experimental psychology from the University of Hawaii in 1966, and his PhD in educational psychology from the University of Hawaii in 1973. In 1983, he became a licensed clinical psychologist.

For more than two decades, Dennis worked for the state of Hawaii, first as a statistician for the Department of Health from February 1967 to 1976; as head of research and evaluation for the DOH adult mental health division from 1976 to June 1993; as a clinical psychologist at Halawa Correctional Facility from 1993 to 1995 and in the same capacity from 1995 to 1996 in the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.

Besides government work, Dennis founded a private practice in 1983 and operated through 2009. He worked at St. Francis Hospital at the pain treatment center as a consulting psychologist and at the Family Institute of the Pacific. He also served as a Hawaii state court examiner.

He co-founded Hoahana Institute in 1997 to 1999 that provided mental health services to over 2,600 children and adolescents.

In 1999, he co-founded Care Hawaii Inc., a company providing mental health services to children, adolescents and adults with behavioral health concerns. The company, managed by his wife, Dr. Tina McLaughlin, still operates in Honolulu with more than 440 employees.
A dedicated psychology professor, Dennis taught at the University of Hawaii Leeward and West Oahu campuses, Chaminade University of Honolulu and at the American School of Professional Psychology. He authored and co-authored more than 47 publications published worldwide.

Throughout his professional career, Dennis supervised and mentored hundreds of students obtaining graduate or post-graduate clinical experience.

Known for his humor, booming laugh, compassion, inquisitive scientific spirit and extensive library, Dennis was extraordinarily kind to children and animals.

Dennis leaves behind his wife Tina McLaughlin, children Malia Zimmerman, Maile McLaughlin, Jason Dameron, Renee Hopkins, Serena Dameron and Kristin Dameron; grandchildren Michael Zimmerman, Mahina Dameron, Kealoha and Mahina Comcowich; brother William McLaughlin and sister Joan Hanley.

Visitation with the family is Friday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m., a eulogy is scheduled for 11 a.m. and a celebration of life mass will start at 11:20 a.m. at Waikiki’s St. Augustine’s Church. Dennis’ father, George McLaughlin, designed and built St. Augustine’s Church and his mother, Madelyn McLaughlin, created some of the interior artwork. A reception will follow at the Aston Hotel’s Tiki room, 2570 Kalakaua Ave.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable gift in memory of Dennis G. McLaughlin, PhD, to the University of Hawaii Foundation (UHF), to benefit “The Dr. Edwin C. Cadman Endowed Fund for the Study of Neurodegenerative Disorders”, 2444 Dole St., Bachman Hall 105, Honolulu, HI 96822. Gifts to this fund will enable the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) to advance biomedical research in neurodegenerative diseases.