William Breitbart, MD
William Breitbart, MD, has been honored with the 2017 American Cancer Society Trish Greene Quality of Life Award, a prestigious national honor that recognizes an outstanding individual who dedicates a significant portion of his or her career to research that improves the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.
Dr. Breitbart is a pioneer and leader in the field of psycho-oncology. He led the way for innovative, award-winning initiatives that provided high-quality research focusing on psychiatric and neuropsychiatric aspects of cancer and palliative care. He is Chairman; Jimmie C. Holland Chair in Psychiatric Oncology; as well as Chief, Psychiatry Service, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Breitbart is also Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
“The American Cancer Society is pleased to honor Dr. Breitbart for his dedication to advancing research within the field of psycho-oncology and providing quality supportive care for patients,” said Marion Morra, MA, ScD, Chair, Trish Greene Quality of Life Award Workgroup, American Cancer Society. “Dr. Breitbart has dedicated his career to serving cancer patients and helping to eliminate suffering.”
The Trish Greene Quality of Life Award honors the life and work of the late Patricia (Trish) Greene, RN, PhD. Dr. Greene served in a variety of roles as both a volunteer and professional staff member throughout her 20-year association with the Society. The Trish Greene Quality of Life award honors Dr. Greene’s memory and recognizes the significant contributions that researchers have made in the journey to achieving excellence in compassionate care for people facing cancer.
Awards and Accomplishments
Dr. Breitbart’s history of funded research began with a Career Development Award from the American Cancer Society in 1986. He was a Soros Faculty Scholar of the Open Society Institute Project on Death in America and has had continuous National Institutes of Health R01 funding since 1989, focusing on psychiatric aspects of cancer and palliative care. Most recently, Dr. Breitbart has studied cytokine mediators of depression in patients with pancreatic cancer and has developed meaning-centered psychotherapy—a novel psychotherapy intervention aimed at sustaining meaning and improving spiritual well-being in the terminally ill.
Dr. Breitbart is known for numerous influential leadership roles and has been recognized in the field of psycho-oncology for his contributions, receiving top research awards and lifetime achievements since 2003.
He has edited/written 12 textbooks, including Psychiatric Aspects of Symptom Management in the Cancer Patient, published by the American Psychiatric Press; Psycho-oncology (first, second, and third editions); and Handbook of Psychiatry in Palliative Medicine (first and second editions). Dr. Breitbart recently authored treatment manuals on meaning-centered group and individual psychotherapy in advanced cancer patients. Dr. Breitbart is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Palliative & Supportive Care. ■