Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Remembering a pioneer, Barbara Rich

At a holiday luncheon in New York City in the late 90s, Dana Foundation chairman David Mahoney was quite proud of his employees. We were making a big difference in the "Decade of the Brain" congressional project, he said.

At his behest, we posed for a photograph in the beautiful garden of the New York Academy of Sciences. I was in the photo, which Mr. Mahoney graciously signed personally and distributed to all those in the picture. Remember, he wrote, that you were there at the beginning.

Also among those gathered was Barbara Rich, in many ways the emotional and intellectual backbone of this group of which Mr. Mahoney was so proud.

Barbara was a renaissance woman. Kind, wicked smart, indefatigable, she eventually had a say in all parts of the Foundation, including the financial portfolio. We worked together on mutual projects, supporting each other. I learned a great deal more from her than the other way around. She was always striving to be a better person and gently encouraging me to do the same.

Anyone learning about the brain and concerned about a loved one--or themselves--suffering from depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation or the myriad of other illnesses that can cripple individuals and minimize human potential, needs to thank Barbara Rich.

With great sadness that I learned of her passing earlier this month. I am too much at a loss for words to write more.

Thank you, Barbara. It was a great honor to know you and work alongside you.

Learn about the brain, here.

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