On Sunday, October 12, 2008, Columbia University, the Mailman School of Public Health, the Department of Psychiatry and New York State Psychiatric Institute lost a good friend and dedicated public servant when Allan Rosenfield died after waging a heroic struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). The funeral was held on Monday and a memorial service to honor him is being planned, the date for which will be announced shortly.
Dr. Rosenfield was a legendary figure in the field of academic medicine and public health. He had a distinguished career and transformed the School of Public Health at Columbia into one of the leading programs with a global presence. He and the School of Public Health had a special relationship with the Psychiatry Department and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (PI). This is tangibly exemplified by the School of Public Health occupancy of the old PI building. In addition, many of our faculty have obtained specialized training and advanced degrees in the School of Public Health and hold joint faculty appointments. His son, Paul, worked at PI and is a member of our faculty.
"As incoming chairman, I had many interactions with Allan and found him always to be wise, gracious and committed to the ideals of academic medicine and public health care," said Dr. Jeffrey lieberman, Director and Chairman of PI and Columbia's Department of Psychiatry. "He will be greatly missed and long admired by all, particularly all of us in the Department of Psychiatry at PI. We extend our deepest sympathies to Paul and his entire family."