Richard Saitz, MD (BUSM ’87), MPH Memorial Lecture Fund

Headshot of Dr. SaitzIn January 2022, Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, professor of medicine/GIM and professor & chair of Community Health Sciences at SPH since 2014, passed away.

A Double Terrier (CAS’87, MED’87) and lifelong member of the BU community, Rich joined the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine faculty in 1993.  He was internationally and locally respected in alcohol and drug addiction research, a field in which he changed the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and where his commitment to his patients was well known.  He was also a beloved mentor to up and coming addiction scholars and clinicians.

Rich had an international reputation in both alcohol and drug addiction research. His mantra was “follow the evidence.” His landmark article, “Individualized Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal: A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Trial,” changed the approach to the treatment of the common problem of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. At his core, Rich was a dedicated physician committed to his patients and to our mission. He directed Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit for more than a decade. He also chaired an Institutional Review Board and was co-principal investigator of BU’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. 

His leadership in the addiction world was manifested in his many roles, including as associate editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, section editor and sole author of key chapters in UpToDate® on unhealthy substance use, an editor of The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine, editor emeritus of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, editor of Evidence-Based Medicine, author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, and former president of the Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA), in addition to numerous honors and awards. Beyond his outstanding contributions to the Boston, national and international scientific communities, Rich was a devoted friend, colleague and collaborator.

To honor the outstanding legacy of Dr. Saitz, BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine has established the Richard Saitz, MD (’87), MPH Memorial Lecture Fund.  The fund will support an annual campus wide lecture, Richard Saitz, MD, MPH Memorial Lecture: Controversies in Medicine– Show Me the Evidence. This annual event, as part of General Internal Medicine’s grand rounds, will feature speakers that reflect Dr. Saitz’s passion–how to “follow the evidence” to address controversies in medicine and public health. Thanks to contributions from GIM faculty members, the fund has been established.  Once we reach $100,000, the fund will be endowed, ensuring that the Richard Saitz Lecture will continue in perpetuity.

We ask for your support to honor the legacy of such a wonderful colleague, teacher, mentor, and friend.  Please consider making a donation today.  To support the Richard Saitz, MD (’87), MPH Memorial Lecture Fund:

  1. Online: Please go to this Giving Form to donate
  2. By check: Make payable to Trustees of Boston University, and in the memo on your check (or an accompanying note) list “Richard Saitz, MD, MPH Memorial Lecture Fund” to ensure your donation is deposited to the correct fund. You can mail the check to the address below:

Boston University Development
Gift Processing
C/O JPMorgan Chase & Co.
PO Box 22605
New York, NY 10087-2605

For any questions about donations, please contact