In Memoriam

Comments: 9

We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of PRIM&R's founders and longtime board presidents (1979-2001) Sanford Chodosh, MD, who died peacefully, surrounded by his large and loving family, on August 30, 2010.
Sanford Chodosh, a clinical investigator for more than 40 years, retired from the Boston University School of Medicine where he was an Associate Professor and from the VA Outpatient Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was Chief of Staff for 14 years and Chief of Pulmonary. Dr. Chodosh authored or coauthored more than 73 articles, 38 abstracts, and 40 chapters in books and monographs. He was involved in a number of hospital and organization activities and received numerous awards and honors. Dr. Chodosh served as the IRB chair at the Boston City Hospital from 1971-1984. Through the time of his passing, he continued to be deeply involved with the protection of human and animal subjects in research as a founder of PRIM&R. In 2005, he received PRIM&R’s Founders’ Award in recognition of his long service to the organization.Dr. Chodosh looked to PRIM&R as his “second family” and provided the organization with vital leadership from its earliest beginnings. He was a positive example to all of PRIM&R, having lived each day with courage, strength, wisdom and dignity.Joan Rachlin, PRIM&R’s executive director, knew Dr. Chodosh for more than 35 years, and extended her sympathy to his wife, Harriet, and his children and grandchildren. She noted that Dr. Chodosh will be sorely missed by his many friends, colleagues, and loved ones in his PRIM&R family, in the community of pulmonologists of which he was a respected researcher/clinician, and among the many devoted stamp collectors who shared another of his passions. Ms. Rachlin noted that “Sandy was PRIM&R's most visible and venerable leader for over two decades, and that leadership is part of his lasting legacy. His memory will always be a blessing.”Read more about Dr. Chodosh’s reflections of 25 years with PRIM&R, which was written in 1999. Please add your reminiscences and/or condolences the comments section below. PRIM&R will make sure to share them with Dr. Chodosh’s family.

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9 thoughts on “In Memoriam

  1. Susan Kornetsky

    I am so saddened by the news, but am comforted in knowing that those of us in PRIM&R are sharing these common emotions. We all knew Sandy in his role in PRIMR. I was just 24 when I met Sandy and remember being amazed by his wisdom, knowledge, and soft spoken ways. We also knew Sandy was not afraid to speak his mind when he disagreed, but I always respected his point of view because of his long standing and formative role in PRIM&R. I always thought to myself Sandy has insight in PRIM&R which many of do not have, so his words always resonated with me and made me think again. I hope that we can find a way not only to mourn together but to celebrate all that Sandy did and represents to PRIM&R. We will miss him!

  2. Robert Levine

    Dear colleagues and friends,

    What sad news this is for PRIM&R's members and friends! It is particularly sorrowful for those of us who have been involved in PRIM&R since its early days. We clearly recall Sandy's immense role in getting the organization up and running, his seemingly boundless energy and his limitless devotion to the people and programs of PRIM&R. His quiet but effective leadership was well known to those who worked in the development of PRIM&R's various programs and publicly displayed at our meetings. Our recurring audience came to our meetings with the expectation of seeing Sandy in his role as president and master of ceremonies.

    As the organization shifted its focus from bioethics in general to research ethics in particular, Sandy was particularly well-suited, as an experienced IRB chair, to continue his effective leadership and mentoring role in the organization.

    I personally profited from his wisdom and his friendship. For many years, especially during the 1980s and 1990s, Sandy and I sat together at many of the meals organized by PRIM&R. Fairly often we were joined by Harriet, his wife, and occasionally by Barbara and Lewis, his daughter-in-law and son, respectively. I have fond memories of these mealtime conversations and of the people who participated in them.

    Harriett has told us of how Sandy approached the end of his life in a manner that "taught us all how it's done." That's a perfect testimonial of Sandy and how he lived his life: He taught us all how it was done.

    To Harriet, Lewis, and Barbara I extend my deepest sympathy and wishes that you rapidly get through this troubled time. Many of us at PRIM&R share your sense of loss of our colleague, friend and leader. With Harriet, we, too, are proud of him.


    Bob Levine

  3. Ruth Fischbach

    Dear All,

    A sad day indeed! For those of us who knew Sandy over the years, the memory of his voice and contributions to the advancement of responsible research and medicine cannot be diminished. He was vital in all ways and will be so missed.

    Harriet, know that I loved Sandy and respected him immensely. Knowing him brought me into contact with you, Lewis, and Barbara. That too was a gift for which I am most grateful.


    Ruth Fischbach

  4. Barbara

    Dear Friends, It's impossible to capture my feelings at the loss of Sandy in a few words. Sandy was always one of the board members who I made time to sit down next to even just for a few minutes at our meetings because I always wanted to reconnect with him (our touchstone) and knew that he never failed to have something so interesting to say. From the first time I met Sandy in 1980 to this past year, his enthusiasm and passion for our work never waned. If anything, it grew. We lost someone who still had so much to contribute. I will always have a special place in my heart for Sandy. He is going right next to Lou Lasagna and Wig. What an incredible trio.
    Harriet, I send you my deepest condolences. Sandy and you had a very special relationship that was evident to all those around you. Barbara and Lewis, please accept my condolences too. I know you have lost a kind and large presence from your life. With great love, Barbara Stanley

  5. David Borasky

    I was first introduced to Sandy in the late '90s when I was serving on the ARENA council, and Sandy would come to our meetings in his role as PRIM&R President, but really acting as an ambassador for the Board. He was a wonderful ambassador, demystifying the Board for the Council and, when necessary, telling us things we didn't like in his straightforward, but sincere way.

    When I moved to the Board my appreciation for Sandy grew. He called 'em as he saw 'em and was not afraid to challenge any idea, no matter how popular the idea might be with his board colleagues.

    It was always clear to me that Sandy was always looking out for what was best for the organization, and never hesitated to roll up his sleeves and get to work when and where needed. For the last several years Sandy served as a scientific abstract reviewer for the IRB conference, working in practical anonymity to help identify and promote the next generation of PRIM&R excellence.

    In short, I'll miss him.

    Harriet, you and the entire family are in are thoughts.


  6. Anonymous

    Dear Friends,

    Looking back on Sandy's long life, I realize that during the years that he was busy working with a small circle of colleague to forge the organization that became PRIM&R, I was a wet behind the ears college student living on the opposite shores of the Charles River. At the time,I was aware of several of the medical ethics debates that were unfolding in Boston, and capturing national headlines. Sandy was in the midst of the fray, working to reconcile the advancing frontier of medical science with a host of biomedical research ethics considerations. In some measure, those discussions fueled my own interest in a medical career. Little did I suspect that I would one day have the privilege to know Sandy as a friend and colleague.

    I arrived at PRIM&R decades after many of the Board Member, and did not have the opportunity to witness Sandy at the peak of his career. Instead, I came to know him as a wise and senior counsel, one who could be relied upon to recall the nuances of important organization discussions that had occurred many years earlier. Until the end of his days, his commitment to PRIM&R was unwavering. Quite simply, PRIM&R would not be the organization that it is today without Sandy's passion and contributions.

    My thoughts go out to his family, and to the broad umbrella of the extended PRIM&R family.

    We shall miss him dearly.

    With deepest condolences,


  7. Alex Capron

    Although I’ve only been on the board of PRIM&R for a couple of years, I’ve known and admired Sandy for decades, back to my first involvement as a speaker at PRIM&R conferences in the 1980s. Everything that is good about the organization is connected in some way with him, as a model scientist, as a creator and animating force for the organization, and most importantly as a mensch.

    My admiration for all that Sandy did for the responsible conduct of physicians and researchers is boundless. I think his family knows how much we loved him and will miss him.


  8. Helen McGough

    From my early years with ARENA, and later on with PRIM&R as a board member, I came to know and respect Sandy. He was a true gentleman with the courage of his convictions, and a good teacher and leader to those of us just starting out. I know my memories of Sandy will continue to guide my way. He will be missed. My deepest sympathies to his family. With love and affection,
    Helen McGough

  9. Judy Norsigian

    Sandy was always so kind and willing to explain anything technical that I did not understand. He never "talked down" to me or made feel badly for asking something that anyone in the research field would already know. (I was the only truly "layperson" on the board who was never involved in the conduct of research…and the "alphabet soup" of acronyms often through me for a loop!)

    Sandy's integrity and decades-long commitment to the PRIMR mission is one of the reasons that we have thrived for so many years. I am truly grateful for all he taught me as well as his dedicated leadership in this great organization he helped to found.

    -Judy Norsigian