Timely Items:

Loren R. Mosher, M.D. Passes

On Saturday, July 10, 2004, a giant in the humane treatment of those diagnosed with serious mental illness, Loren R. Mosher, M.D,. passed away at the Anthroposophic Clinic Havelhoehe in Berlin, Germany, where he had gone for treatment of a liver disease. 


          Born and raised in California, Dr. Mosher is a board-certified psychiatrist who received his BA from Stanford University and M.D., with honors, from Harvard Medical School in 1961, where he also subsequently took his psychiatric training.  He was Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for San Diego, California from 7/96 to 11/98and remains a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, University of California at San Diego.  One of his principal tasks in San Diego was the implementation of a managed care system for public sector adult clients.  From 1988-96 he was Chief Medical Director of Montgomery County Maryland’s Department of Addiction, Victim and Mental Health Services. In his role in Montgomery County, he helped establish a number of innovative programs, including a consumer owned and operated computer company and a residential alternative to psychiatric hospitalization for persons in crisis. He remains an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine in Bethesda, MD where he was a full time professor from 1981-88.

His professional training and experience is extensive and wide-ranging.  He received research training at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program in Bethesda, MD and at the Tavistock Clinic in London. His interest in health policy led him to attend Harvard’s Program for Health Systems Management (1973). From 1968-80 he was the first Chief of NIMH’s Center for Studies of Schizophrenia.  While with the NIMH he founded and served as first Editor-in-Chief of the Schizophrenia Bulletin.

From 1970 to 1992 he was a collaborating investigator, then Research Director, of the Soteria Project – “Community Alternatives for the Treatment of Schizophrenia”.  In this role, he was instrumental in developing and researching an innovative and controversial non-drug, non-hospital, home-like, residential treatment facility for newly identified acutely psychotic persons.  At two year follow-up Soteria treated patients had better overall outcomes than those receiving “usual” hospital treatment and neuroleptic drugs. Persons who received no neuroleptic drugs did especially well. In 1990 Dr. Mosher designed and implemented a five-year Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) supported study comparing clinical outcomes and costs of long term seriously mentally ill public-sector clients in Montgomery County Maryland.  Patients were randomly assigned (with no psychopathology based exclusion criteria) to a residential alternative to hospitalization or the psychiatric ward of a general hospital (the McPath project).  The residential alternative’s clinical program was based on the successful Soteria Project model. Its findings, comparable clinical effectiveness, at much reduced cost, have important acute care implications.

In 1980, while based at the University of Verona Medical School, Dr. Mosher conducted an in-depth study of Italy’s revolutionary new mental health system.  He found that a National Health Service supported system of catchmented community care could stop admissions to large state hospitals enabling them to be phased down and closed.  He also concluded that where the legally mandated community systems (without a dangerousness commitment criterion) were implemented there were no adverse consequences for patients or the community.

In his legal/psychiatric work Dr. Mosher was expert witness for the plaintiffs in two successful class action suites related to forced medication of psychiatric patients (NJ; Renie vs. Klein, 1978; CA; Jamison vs. Farribee 1983).   He was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in four successful class action suites (MD, VA, DC &AZ) against Psychiatric Institutes of America (PIA) and National Medical Enterprises (NME) for medical malpractice and insurance fraud (1994-2001). As a clinician, Dr. Mosher specializes in family and adolescent treatment, community psychiatry program consultation, and staff training. 

In addition to over 100 articles and reviews, Dr. Mosher has edited books on the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia and on Milieu Treatment.  His book, Community Mental Health: Principles and Practice, written with his Italian colleague, Dr. Lorenzo Burti, was published by W.W. Norton in 1989.  A revised, updated, abridged paperback version, Community Mental Health: A Practical Guide, appeared in 1994.  It has been translated into five languages. Most recently he has founded his own consulting company, Soteria Associates, to provide mental health, research and forensic consultation using the breadth of experience described above.


Office and Home:           2616 Angell Avenue                                                        Phone: (858) 550-0312

                                      San Diego, CA 92122                                                   Fax:     (858) 558-0854

                                    E-Mail: MosherSchreiber@compuserve.com                                

                                         Website: http://www.moshersoteria.com                                 April 7, 2003