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Sustaining the legacy of late chancellor emeritus Aaron Lazare

Creation of psychiatry award and student education fund in his honor announced

September 14, 2015











Members of the UMass Medical School community gathered on Friday, Sept. 11, to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Aaron Lazare, MD, chancellor emeritus of UMass Medical School, at a tribute held in his honor. Dr. Lazare, who died on July 14, served as UMMS chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine from 1991 to 2007, years that saw the dramatic and enduring ascent of UMass Medical School’s reputation and rankings as one of the best medical schools in the country for primary care education and biomedical research.

“Throughout a distinguished career in psychiatry and then through his nearly two decades of service as chancellor and dean, Dr. Lazare was an educator, mentor, steward, colleague, author, confidante and friend,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins.

Former colleagues recalled warm memories of Dr. Lazare. Douglas Ziedonis, MD, chair and professor of psychiatry, recalled his predecessor’s commitment to creating the academic Department of Psychiatry that he leads today. Mai-Lan Rogoff, MD, professor of psychiatry, noted that Lazare’s influence on her began even before working with him for more than 25 years, when as a young chief psychiatry resident she modeled an outpatient psychiatry program on his seminal teachings. Personal reflections were also shared by C. Robert Matthews, PhD, the Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, chair and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology; Michele P. Pugnaire, MD, senior associate dean of educational affairs and professor of family medicine & community health; and Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, provost, executive deputy chancellor, and dean of the School of Medicine.

Sheldon Benjamin, MD, professor of psychiatry and neurology and vice chair of education for the Department of Psychiatry, announced the creation of The Aaron Lazare Award for Psychiatry. Created with a generous donation from mental health advocate Richard Weingarten, the Aaron Lazare Award for Psychiatry will be presented annually at graduation to a UMass Medical School student entering psychiatry training who has demonstrated strong clinical, academic, teaching or research skills.

In addition, Lazare family members and friends have created the Aaron Lazare, MD, Memorial Student Education Fund.

“Aaron would have liked nothing better than for all of us to pitch in and provide additional enrichment opportunities for our medical students,” Dr. Benjamin said. “Let’s turn the table and surprise Aaron with what we can do for UMass Medical School students in his memory.”


Supporting the Aaron Lazare, MD, Memorial Student Education Fund

Donations may be made online here
 (please type the name of the fund in the box provided)
or by phone at 508-856-5520.


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