Mitch Rosenthal, M.D. (In Memoriam)

A pioneer in the treatment of substance abuse, Dr. Mitchell S. “Mitch” Rosenthal was founder of Phoenix House, the nation’s leading private, non-profit provider of substance abuse services. He began work in the field in 1965 as a psychiatrist at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California (1965-1967), where he established the first service-sponsored therapeutic community. Up until his death, he was president of the Rosenthal Center for Addiction Studies, a nonprofit institution designed to meet the informational needs of healthcare professionals, policy makers, and members of the public confronting issues of drug use and addiction. He passed away in 2022 and is fondly remembered by the FDPS staff and board.

As a leading advocate for the treatment community, Dr. Rosenthal chaired the New York State Advisory Council on Substance Abuse from 1985 to 1997. He has been a White House advisor on drug abuse and a special consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. A graduate of Lafayette College, Dr. Rosenthal earned his medical degree at the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. He served his residencies – in adult, child, and community psychiatry at Kings County Psychiatric Hospital, and the Staten Island Mental Health Society. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was awarded an honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) by SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 2002.