Stephen G. Post

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Stephen G. Post is a public intellectual, speaker, professor of preventive medicine, and best-selling author who has taught at the University of Chicago Medical School, Fordham University-Marymount, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1988-2008) and Stony Brook University School of Medicine (2008-). He is best known for his writings and presentations on the health benefits of helping others, on the practice of compassionate care and its impact on patients, on spirituality and health, and on caring for "the deeply forgetful."

Post has addressed the U.S. Congress on volunteerism and public health, and he has received a Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition for Outstanding Achievement. He is an elected Member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for "outstanding contributions to medicine," an elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, an overseas elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, an elected Founding Member of the International Society for Science and Religion housed at Cambridge University, and served as Senior Research Fellow in the Becket Institute at St. Hugh's College at Oxford University. Post was selected as the Public Member of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Composite Committee (2000-2003) and was reappointed on the basis of "greatly appreciated contributions."

His book The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2nd edition 2000) was designated a "medical classic of the century" by the British Medical Journal, which wrote (2009), "Until this pioneering work was published in 1995 the ethical aspects of one of the most important illnesses of our aging populations were a neglected topic." He is an elected member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel of Alzheimer Disease International.[1] Post is one of several recipients of the U.S. Alzheimer's Association "distinguished service award" for his work with family and professional caregivers over two decades.

Post wrote the 2011 best-selling book The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times.[2][3][4] He was lead author of the 2007 Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving.[5] His writings were included in Best American Spiritual Writing (2005). Post received the Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada (2008), and was listed in the "Best Spiritual Books of 2011" by Spirituality & Practice. Articles by or about him have been published in Parade (magazine),[6] O: The Oprah Magazine,[7] The New York Times,[8] and Psychology Today.[9] He has appeared on many major media venues, including 20/20, The Daily Show, Stossel, and Nightline.

Education and personal life[edit]

Post attended St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, Reed College, and the University of Chicago. He completed his PhD in 1983 "with distinction" at the University of Chicago,[10] where he wrote a dissertation on eudaemonistic happiness and altruistic love. He is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and was a Trustee of the John Templeton Foundation from 2008-2014.

Academic work[edit]

Post currently serves as Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University[11] in the School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine. Prior to his arrival at Stony Brook University, he was (1988–2008) Professor of Medical Ethics, Social Science, and Religious Studies in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Post served as Editor-in-Chief of the 5-volume 3rd edition of The Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Macmillan Reference, 2004) while at Case Western. At the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics Post and colleagues address the crisis of the dehumanization of healthcare and examine the perennial importance of compassionate care in the art of healing and the experience of recovery. He is an elected Fellow of the Hastings Center and a Senior Scholar of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.

Post is a Senior Research Fellow (non-resident) in the Center for Law and Religion in the School of Law of Emory University, a Senior Faculty Scholar (non-resident) in the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health of the Duke University Medical Center, Visiting Scholar (non-resident) in the Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and Distinguished Scholar (non-resident) in the Institute for Studies in Religion of Baylor University.

Post is widely recognized for his research and public speaking on benevolence, altruism and compassionate love. Through the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love,[12] an Ohio-based 501 (c)(3) that Post founded in 2001 with support from the Templeton Foundation, he was able to competitively fund research at more than sixty universities on the science of unselfish giving and its underpinnings in philosophy and spiritual wisdom. He has examined the dynamic of benevolence with regard to the happiness and health of the giver.[13] For this work Post received the Hope in Healthcare Award for "pioneering research and education in the field of unconditional love, altruism, compassion, and service" (2008), and the "Pioneer Medal For Outstanding Leadership in Health Care" presented by the Trustees of HealthCare Chaplaincy (2012). His writings also address the roles of spirituality and helping others in 12-Step recovery programs.[14]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Elected Hastings Center Fellow 1994 [15]
  • Senior Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University
  • Elected Member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for "distinguished contributions to medicine in 2003.[16]
  • Elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine
  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, London
  • Hope in Healthcare Award, 2008 [16]
  • Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada, 2008 [16]

Bibliography[edit]

Stephen Post is the author and editor of numerous books including:

  • The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying (John Hopkins, 1995) [17]
  • Encyclopedia of Bioethics 3rd ed. (MacMillan, 2003)[18]
  • The Fountain of Youth: Cultural, Scientific, and Ethical Perspectives on a Biomedical Goal (Oxford University Press, 2004).[19]
  • "Altruism & Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research" (Oxford University Press, 2007) [19]
  • "Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving" (Broadway, 2008) [5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]