NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIAAA Alumnus Callahan Mourned

Claire Callahan
Claire Callahan died Feb. 11 in Danvers, Mass.

Claire M. Callahan died on Feb. 11 in Danvers, Mass., after a lengthy illness. Her career was devoted to the service of people, principally as an educator of youth, and in the prevention and treatment of addiction.

She held a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Texas, with additional doctoral study at Fordham University.

In the early 1970s, Callahan worked with young adults addicted to drugs in Atlanta. She was also a staff psychologist at the Georgia Regional Hospital of Atlanta, a facility for mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients.

When she and her husband later moved to Washington, D.C., Callahan continued her work at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. There, in a collaborative program between NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she oversaw the development of curricula to educate primary care physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other health care professionals to prevent and treat addiction. 

Many of the physicians trained under the NIAAA/NIDA programs were instrumental in forming the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Later in her career, Callahan joined the National Council on Alcoholism of Ireland, directing the first national training program in that country to educate health professionals to develop hospital and community-based programs for prevention, intervention and treatment of alcoholism and other drug addictions. 

Callahan is survived by her husband, James, who worked at the National Cancer Institute, and her brother, John Lyons, of Danvers, Mass.

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