Donald A. Calsyn, Friend and Colleague


CalsynThe Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and the Pacific NW Node are greatly saddened by the death of our colleague and friend, Don Calsyn, PhD.  Don died at his home on Sunday February 3, 2013.

Don was a Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and a Research Affiliate in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington. Prior to coming to ADAI in 2004, he directed Outpatient Services at the Addictions Treatment Center of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System.  His work in substance abuse and HIV/AIDS research at the UW and the VA Puget Sound spoke to his passionate commitment to reducing rates of HIV infection in those struggling with substance use disorders or other risk behaviors.

Don’s recent work included leading the protocol  NIDA CTN 0018,  “Reducing HIV/STD Risk Behaviors: A Research Study for Men in Drug Abuse Treatment.”   From the results of that study, Don and colleagues developed a treatment manual:  “Real Men Are Safe (REMAS): A Gender-Focused HIV and Sexual Risk Reduction Intervention for Men in Substance Abuse Treatment” and a related training video with CE for counselors.

A memorial gathering for family, friends, and colleagues on Sunday, February 10 was filled with laughter and tears.  Story after story revealed Don’s generosity and love of family, and of a life well-lived.

In lieu of flowers, the Calsyn family asks that any donations be made in Don’s name to the Albert and Virginia Calsyn Scholarship in Gerontology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Blvd., 107 Woods Hall, St. Louis, MO 63121; Attention: Maura  Wuellner  or by calling (314) 516-5666.  Named for Don’s parents, the scholarship was established in memory of his older brother, Robert, a psychologist and gerontologist, who died just a few months ago.

An obituary for Don appeared in the Seattle Times, where visitors may leave a note of remembrance in the online guestbook.   If you would like to send a card, you can address it c/o Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, 1107 NE 45th Street, Suite 120, Seattle, WA 98105-4631; we’ll deliver them to the Calsyn family.


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