Dr Robert Newman, ex-president and ex-CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center (1978 – 1997) & an internationally recognized expert on addiction treatment, died on Aug 1 in Manhattan. He was 80.
He was struck by a car in the Bronx in June and never recovered from his injuries, his son, Seiji, said.
Dr Newman worked to expand access to addiction and psychiatric services, HIV and AIDS treatment, and care for the LGBT community. Manhattan’s first Jewish Hospice, Jacob Perlow Hospice was built under his supervision.
He also served as Assistant Commissioner of Addiction for the New York City Department of Health, where he evolved methadone maintenance as a safe substitute for heroin and tussled to redefine addiction as a chronic medical condition that cannot be cured.
He devoted his life to destigmatizing opioid addiction and treatment. As President of Continuum Health Partners (1997 – 2000), he led the integration and merger of various hospitals.