Obituary — Robert M. Anderson


Robert M. Anderson, professor emeritus of medical education in the Department of Learning Health Sciences, and an internationally respected expert in the field of diabetes care and education, died July 28 at the age of 77 after a long illness.

Anderson was a member of the Medical School faculty for 27 years until retiring in 2013. A prolific scholar and mentor, he spent much of his career creating and implementing culturally appropriate diabetes education programs in diverse communities.

Robert M. Anderson

Because of his strong belief in a person-centered approach to health care, his research and promotion of the patient-empowerment concept revolutionized diabetes education and care.

He was funded throughout his career by the National Institutes of Health, and he held leadership positions with many national and international professional organizations.

A widely respected and sought-out speaker in his areas of expertise, Anderson delivered lectures and workshop presentations in more than 30 countries.

The American Diabetes Association presented Anderson with the Richard R. Rubin Award in 2015 in recognition of outstanding and innovative contributions to the study and understanding of behavioral aspects of diabetes. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Diabetes Educators in 2016.

A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston State College in 1971, his master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1975, and his doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1978.

He was a longtime resident of Chelsea and Dexter.

Anderson is survived by his wife of 45 years, Susan Anderson; stepsons Donald Harrod and Timothy Harrod; sister Kathy (Robert) Mullen; and nieces and nephews.

Read a full obituary at

Submitted by the Anderson family


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