Dr. Robert G. Addison, of Chicago and Longboat Key, died March 15. He was 90.
Dr. Addison was born in 1921 in Chicago. He attended Von Steuben High School at the University of Utah and graduated from Northwestern University Medical School. He served in the U.S. Army as a medic. Dr. Addison served as a clinical professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Northwestern University Medical School since 1953 and later joined the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Addison maintained an active private practice as an orthopedic surgeon until joining the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) as a full-time faculty member in 1974. At the RIC, Dr. Addison served as medical director, chief of staff and chief of surgery As an affiliate member of the institute’s board of directors, he helped organize the RIC consulting medical staff in 1958. He was named the first chair holder of the Coleman Foundation Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine.
In 1980 he was the founder of the first interdisciplinary pain clinic in the Midwest, the Center for Pain Studies at the RIC. He was the author of books, scientific and editorial writings and was an active national and international lecturer.
He was a charter member of the American Pain Society (1978) and served on many committees and as its treasurer and president. In 1996 he was the recipient of the APS Distinguished Service Award acknowledging his many contributions that helped to lay a strong foundation for the organization. Dr. Addison was also a founding member and president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and a founder and first president of the Midwest Pain Society. He was an advisory board member of the International Pain Foundation, a participant in the activities of the International Association for the Study of Pain and has been a member of the National Advisory Committee on Chronic Pain Management of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and consultant on the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Pain Management Guideline Panel.
He and his wife, Beverly, loved to travel, particularly to Italy and France. He was an honorary member of the Italian Pain Society and was a founder and president of the France-USA Pain Association. The Sealy Center of Excellence Pressure Mapping Laboratory in Trinity, N.C., was dedicated to Dr. Robert G. and Beverly Addison in 2008. Dr. Addison was a consultant for Sealy for many years and was involved in the development of the original Sealy Posturepedic mattress.
He was an avid racquetball and tennis player and was an accomplished, award-winning sculptor.
Dr. Addison was preceeded in death by his siblings, Lillian Lewis, Mildred Frazin, Florence Stepner and Eugene Addison, and his brother-in-law, Dr. Ronald Minkin.
Dr. Addison is survived by his wife of 57 years, Beverly; daughters, Elizabeth Addison, Dr. Nancy Addison, Benita Addison Schachter and Susan Addison; and 10 grandchildren.
A memorial is being planned in Chicago. Donations in Dr. Addison’s memory may be made to the Robert G. Addison Chair in Pain Studies at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 E. Superior St., Chicago, Ill., 60611; or Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, Fla., 34238.
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