Kathy Carroll, Leaving a Legacy of Innovation For Those In Need

For so many, this year has been more than challenging. As we headed into the holidays we thought that, perhaps, this was it and that a new year—a better year—was just around the corner. Sadly, we begin this final week of 2020 without our friend, peer and highly esteemed colleague Dr. Kathleen Carroll.

Dr. Carroll was the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University and a world-renowned researcher and visionary in the field of cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of substance use disorder. Kathy was Principal Investigator of the Center for Psychotherapy Development at Yale, NIDA’s only Center devoted to behavioral therapies. She also served as Principal Investigator of the New England Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network since 1999. She was a prolific author of more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, as well as numerous chapters and books, her vast research was focused on the development and evaluation of behavioral treatments and combinations of behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies to improve treatment outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders.

Kathy was also a champion in the drive toward digital health, dedicated to bringing scale and innovation to the war against addiction. As such, she contributed enormously to the field of addiction treatment and yet she still had so much more to give.

To all of us at CHESS Health, Kathy was also our highly valued partner in delivering eTherapy/CBT4CBT to patients through our Connections App. She and her team, including partner Geoff White, developed the proven CBT4CBT programs. They agreed to let a then very small company in Rochester, CHESS Health, resell the fruits of her life’s work. Even more than that, she helped us whenever asked, including devoting hundreds of uncompensated hours to help us secure the $1.5M NIDA grant in 2019. Personally, she taught me a lot about SUD treatment when I was still new to the field. Kathy was also funny, warm, and caring; her personality shown through in every presentation she gave.

I’ll forever be grateful for Kathy’s confidence in and support of CHESS and for being a friend and mentor to me. Sadly, Kathy passed away on December 28, 2020, from a rare and very short illness.

Christopher Wilkins, one of our founders, said so very well what we all at CHESS are feeling, “Kathy was a light of clarity, decency and intelligence. Her work has and will continue to have life-saving impact for years to come. We will continue our commitment to bringing her life’s work and innovation to those in need.”

Every one of us at CHESS remains dedicated to this vision.