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In Memory of Robert Buchanan, PhD: Innovative Researcher Who Improved Care and Created Options to Address Challenges Faced by People with MS

December 17, 2013

It is with great sadness that the Society recently learned of the untimely death of Robert Buchanan, PhD.  Dr. Buchanan was a professor of health policy at Ohio State University (Columbus, OH). He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Virginia Charlottesville, and continued on there to complete his PhD in Government. Dr. Buchanan published more than 145 articles on care and health services provided to people with chronic illness and disability. He held a succession of faculty positions at diverse institutions including Cornell University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Medical University of South Carolina, the School of Rural Public Health at Texas A & M, and Mississippi State University. He joined the John Glenn School of Public Policy at Ohio State University in the summer of 2013.

Dr. Buchanan’s work contributed greatly to our understanding of the challenges faced by people living with disabilities and the options for addressing those challenges. The Society supported a wide variety of innovative studies headed by Dr. Buchanan dating back more than two decades, including an investigation of young adult residents in long-term care facilities, an analysis of the care provided to people with MS in nursing homes, a study of children of people diagnosed with MS, and a comprehensive survey of family care-partners of people living with MS.  Findings from his work were widely used by both clinicians and patient advocacy groups to help bring innovative improvements to the care of people living with MS and other chronic conditions.

For those who knew him, it was clear that Dr. Buchanan possessed a genuine sensitivity and commitment to the populations that he studied.  His ready sense of humor and warm, gentle personality endeared him to all who came in contact with him.  His passing is a great loss and the Society offers its condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. 

Dr. Buchanan’s family has requested that donations in his memory may be made to the National MS Society.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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