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URMC / Psychiatry / Institute for the Family / Giving / Remembering a Dedicated Colleague and Educator

Remembering a Dedicated Colleague and Educator

Dr. Susan HorowitzThe passing of Dr. Susan H. Horwitz, faculty of the Institute for the Family and Associate Professor of Psychiatry passed away in September 2009, This was a shock and saddening time for the University of Rochester community. Since her death, former students and patients, community leaders, friends and family have honored her memory and her vision. Some attended memorials honoring her life and work and many have made gifts to support the establishment of the Dr. Susan H. Horwitz Family Therapy Scholarship Fund.

The McGowan Foundation, inspired by Dr. Horwitz’ vision for stronger families has established a challenge grant that will match $100,000 in gifts to the Horwitz Scholarship Fund. This generous gift will help to endow the Scholarship Fund in perpetuity and provide support this year to a Master’s student in Family Therapy. Our ultimate goal is to fully fund a student scholar.

The Family Therapy Program at the University of Rochester provides education and training in marriage and family therapy, theory and clinical practice. Students are schooled in the major approaches to individual, couple and family therapy within a clinical practice, emerging as skilled and experienced therapists ready to serve those in need.

To secure the $100,000 from the McGowan Foundation, we hope that you will consider making a gift to honor Dr. Horwitz and to support students following in her footsteps. Any gift – large and small – is appreciated as we work to match this significant challenge grant that will endow this scholarship. If you made a gift honoring Dr. Horwitz in 2009, we thank you and hope that in light of this challenge you will make an additional gift in 2010.

Learn More About Susan Horwitz

Dr. Horwitz contributed so much to our community and to her field before her life was suddenly cut short. As a member of the faculty of the Institute for the Family in the University of Rochester’s Department of Psychiatry since 1988, Susan earned broad recognition for excellence as a clinician and educator. She believed in the strength of families and the ability of family members to support each other and heal their relationships.

Dr. Horwitz was a master clinician and master educator. Clinically, she helped thousands of parents and children with learning disabilities, divorcing families trying to better care for their children, families facing serious illness, and during the last part of her life, families experiencing domestic violence. She was persistent and determined to help coordinate a community response to family violence – linking courts, police, schools, physicians, and mental health professionals – and making Rochester a safer and healthier community.

As an educator, Dr. Horwitz has been described as the heartbeat of the Family Therapy Training Program. She touched the lives of her students in deep professional and personal ways. Dr. Horwitz was dedicated to training front-line therapists to deal with the most vulnerable patients with the most pressing problems. She taught family therapy theory, research and clinical practice and served as associate director for education of the Department of Psychiatry’s Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization. She also taught professionals in Finland, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, and New Zealand. Her students routinely praised her intelligence and teaching abilities, and also her compassion and commitment. She was fierce, brilliant, challenging, and loving in her approach to training.

As a researcher, Dr. Horwitz helped to advance the field of Family Therapy; conducting studies

to help practitioners understand the issue of why patients may stay, leave, or return to abusive relationships. She launched an interdisciplinary domestic violence conference to bring together senior and new investigators to explore how to integrate domestic violence interventions across disciplines.

Dr. Horwitz was a remarkable person, at once warm and nurturing, and wonderfully assertive and self-directed. She was a champion for families and revered as a master in the field of family therapy; devoting herself to supporting families and improving the human condition.