Dr. Barry Rosen, who was recognized internationally for his expertise on the disease of addiction, died at his home in Woodside on March 20 after a long illness. He was 61.
"He was more than a doctor, he was a hero," says colleague Andrea Wilcox. "His life was dedicated to treating the disease of addiction. I can't tell you how many people have said 'Barry Rosen saved my life. Barry Rosen saved my son. Barry Rosen saved my marriage.'"
Dr. Rosen had been the medical director of the Sequoia Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center since 1983, when it was a part of Sequoia Hospital. In 1994, when the Sequoia Center became independent, it continued operating under Dr. Rosen's direction.
Dr. Rosen maintained a private practice at the Behavioral Medicine Clinic of the Peninsula, dealing with all aspects of addiction medicine and its presentations of pain and psychiatric disorders. He pioneered a pain clinic at San Mateo General Hospital that has been re-dedicated in his name.
Dr. Rosen took part in a USAID grant to train physicians and therapists in dealing with addiction throughout the former Soviet Union from 1991 to 1998. On one of his many trips to Russia, he met with Mikhail Gorbachev, according to his nephew, Michael Frank, of New York City.
He lectured at the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Desert and conducted sessions with medical students at Stanford Medical School.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he completed his undergraduate work at Colgate University and graduated from the Chicago Medical School.
In 1977, he moved to San Diego, where he became an emergency room physician. In 1979 he moved to Palo Alto, serving as an emergency room doctor at Sequoia Hospital before heading the alcohol and drug treatment center.
An avid tennis player, Dr. Rosen was also a hiker and skier. He was a drummer and lover of music. Known for his sense of humor, he was also a very spiritual man, say friends and family.
He was honored with many awards including the "Heroes in the Fight" Award, presented by the National Association of Mental Illness; the Bronze Key from the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; and the Vernelle Fox Award from the California Society of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Rosen is survived by his wife, Linda Rosen; sisters Joyce Starkey and Susan Frank; stepsons Talbot Keefer and G. John Keefer; nephew Michael Frank; and niece Jackie Frank.
Memorial arrangements will be announced at a later date.