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Remembrance   |    
Theodore W. Lorei, M.S.W.: Friend of Psychiatric Services
Constance Gartner; Howard H. Goldman
Psychiatric Services 2007; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.58.2.281
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Each issue of Psychiatric Services is the product of hundreds of contributors. Authors, peer reviewers, the editor, the editorial board and consultants, and staff attend to a multitude of details to ensure that each issue represents our best efforts. With each issue and year by year, the names of these contributors have changed—except for one: Theodore Lorei, whose name has been on our masthead as editorial consultant since 1982 and whose anonymous guidance has benefited the authors of at least one article in every issue, usually more. The journal has many friends—thoughtful people who have its interests at heart. Ted was the best of the journal's friends.

Attention is one of the scarcest commodities, and the quality of Ted's attention—steadfast, lucid, and kind—was particularly rare. We sent him hundreds of manuscripts over the years, and every review that we received in return (his final review just a week before he passed away after a brief illness in December) demonstrated his pleasure in mentally clearing the decks and giving to the efforts of a junior author the same consideration that he gave to those of a researcher with an international reputation.

Ted was a master of the genre of the research paper: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions. He understood both the restrictive discipline of the form and its potential for creativity. Above all he hoped to share his knowledge and experience—to teach and to guide.

Officially, Ted was our senior statistical reviewer, and he was called in primarily when peer reviewers raised questions about methods and analyses. His formal title reflected his role at the Veterans Administration (VA) for 40 years as an analyst on evaluation teams investigating outcomes for veterans with mental illness and later as an administrator of national research projects at VA headquarters. His work at the VA took him from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he began his career as a social worker, to St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Lyons, New Jersey, and finally to the VA office in Washington, D.C., where he worked until his retirement in 1997. One of his first papers was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1971.

Early on at the VA, when Ted realized he needed to become an expert in statistics, he sought out mentors such as Jacob (Jack) Cohen at New York University and Lee Gurel at the VA. Ted never received a formal degree in statistics, but he learned what he needed to know. In the 1980s he taught statistics to social work students at Catholic University, his alma mater, and at Howard University. In recent years he privately tutored high school and elementary school students in math.

Unofficially, Ted was our go-to reviewer for "rescue manuscripts"—the ones that show promise but that need a good deal of work. For these we asked him to "do a full Ted"—not just provide his comments on Methods. If you were the beneficiary of one of his comprehensive reviews you might now recognize it: the paragraphs were numbered, and usually the first suggested how you might improve your title. Each numbered paragraph addressed a different section of the manuscript, none of his comments were gratuitous, and if you followed them it is likely that we accepted your revised paper. We have posted online as a supplement to this brief tribute (ps.psychiatrylonline.org) some informal guidelines that Ted drafted a few years ago. They are not the journal's comprehensive Instructions to Authors—those can also be found on the Web site, and Ted had a hand in creating them as well. Ted intended these additional guidelines to help authors organize their thoughts when they sit down to write up their findings—a daunting moment for most of us.

In writing this tribute we learned for the first time that Ted kept up an e-mail correspondence in classical Greek with a Catholic priest scholar and that he left an extensive library reflecting other passions—Latin, history, economics, music, and even business administration, the latter to help a family member set up a business several years ago. When we recently talked with people about Ted and asked them how they remembered him, a particular term recurred: Renaissance Man. Each person also wanted us to be sure to mention Ted's humility.

We know about his humility. But learning about these new aspects of Ted, after we can no longer talk with him about his interests in Greek and music and history, reminds us of the primary lesson that his life conveyed: Pay attention. Try to be one of those people on whom nothing is lost.




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