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The Lifetime Achievement Award, ISTSS’s highest honor, is presented to an individual who has made great lifetime contributions to the field of traumatic stress studies. The 2004 award went to Terence M. Keane, PhD (pictured left), a tireless advocate for PTSD programs within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and an international leader in the field of traumatic stress.

Keane is professor and vice chair of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, professor of psychology at Boston University, associate chief of staff for research at VA Boston Healthcare System, and director of the Behavioral Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD. Over the years, he has dedicated himself to ISTSS in roles that included president, vice president, board member, chair of the Scientific Publications Committee and co-editor of the PTSD Practice Guidelines. In 1996 he received the Robert Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from ISTSS

In 1981, Keane started his career with the VA in Jackson, Mississippi, where he became the youngest-ever chief of psychology in the VA. He quickly rose to prominence, and in 1984, he became a member of a special committee convened by the VA’s chief medical director to guide development of PTSD-related activities across the VA system. This committee laid the foundation for the expansion of PTSD services in the VA during the subsequent 15 years.

The early 1980s were the beginning of a steady stream of publications from Keane and his collaborators concerning trauma and PTSD, particularly as a disorder affecting military veterans. Because of these publications, Keane served on both the DSM-III-R and DSM-IV Advisory Committees for PTSD. His measures of trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms continue to be mainstays in both clinical and research settings today.

In 1985, Keane became chief of psychology at the Boston VA Medical Center. He started the Boston PTSD Center, and in 1988, Keane was among a group of VA leaders who joined in a bid to form a congressionally mandated PTSD research and education center. In 1989, the consortium proposed by these leaders, including Matt Friedman, Dennis Charney, Bob Rosenheck and Fred Gusman, was selected as the National Center for PTSD. As director of the Behavioral Science division, Keane has served as role model and mentor for numerous young professionals, many of whom now can be found in academic departments, medical centers and clinics across the country.

Keane’s other accomplishments—his publications, grants, awards and leadership roles—are numerous. Despite his extraordinary number of responsibilities, Keane continues to be active in shaping the field of traumatic stress, the discipline of psychology, and the role of mental health in the public sector.