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November 21, 2012

Obituary: Rodger L. Beatty

beattyRodger L. Beatty, assistant professor of infectious diseases and microbiology in the Graduate School of Public Health, died Nov. 12, 2012, following complications from a Sept. 28 stroke. He was 66.

Beatty joined the GSPH faculty in 1999.

He was a founding faculty member of the school’s master of public health in infectious disease management, intervention and community practice program and the University’s LGBT Center for Health Research.

In 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007, he was a visiting lecturer for the Pennsylvania/MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, which has its headquarters at GSPH.

He chaired the community advisory board of the AIDS clinical trials group at the Pitt Treatment Evaluation Unit as a part of the Global Community Advisory Board as well as the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) at Magee-Womens Hospital. He was the community representative to the national evaluation committee for the MTN as well.

He became the facilitator of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s HIV prevention community planning group in 1997 and was named the facilitator of the HIV planning group for the state in 2012.

Beatty was a member of the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals and its president, 1997-2002. He wrote a technical assistance publication on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender substance abuse treatment for the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and also helped to write its treatment improvement protocol on men’s health and substance abuse. He oversaw the national group’s development of the Chapter 26 Substance Abuse for the Healthy People 2010 companion document for the LGBT communities.

He also was a consultant for several grants with the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, one of which created HIV and substance abuse interventions for four City of Pittsburgh housing projects.

Beatty’s research at Pitt focused on HIV prevention and its relationship to substance abuse and sexual minorities.

“Dr. Beatty’s quiet dedication to improving health services for underserved populations was truly outstanding,” said faculty colleague Anthony J. Silvestre, who headed the search committee that hired Beatty. “For 30 years, his research and policy development helped state and federal agencies improve drug and alcohol as well as infectious disease services for many populations. His publications and teaching reflected that. But he didn’t stop there. In the years that I have known him, he spent countless hours in the field as a volunteer in dozens of governmental, professional and community organizations, working directly to improve services and to reach people too often marginalized and forgotten.”

Beatty earned a BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in psychological science from Penn State and a doctorate from Pitt’s School of Social Work. He also was a licensed social worker.

Prior to joining the Pitt faculty, Beatty worked as a research specialist with the Pennsylvania Prevention Project, as project coordinator for a grant at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and as project coordinator for developing an HIV/AIDS educator-training program at the Pennsylvania AIDS Education and Training Center at GSPH.

Beatty also was co-chair of the University Senate commonwealth relations committee and the GSPH Council faculty diversity committee.

He served as troop clerk with the U.S. Army Headquarters (Third Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry) in Kaiserslautern, Germany, 1966-68.

Shortly before Beatty fell ill this year, the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer file was revealed, listing Beatty among those accused of, but never charged with, abusing scouts in past decades. Beatty had resigned in 1976 as scoutmaster of a troop in Newport, Pennsylvania, citing increased job demands.

His family has directed memorial donations to Shepherd Wellness Community, 4800 Sciota Street, Pittsburgh 15224, or Sixth Presbyterian Church, 1688 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh 15217.

—Marty Levine

Filed under: Feature,Volume 45 Issue 7

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