Shachtman, former biostatistics professor, dies at 75

July 10, 2017

This obituary originally appeared June 28 in The Arizona Republic.

Dr. Richard Shachtman

Dr. Richard Shachtman

Richard Hyman Shachtman, PhD, 75, former faculty member in biostatistics at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health from 1973 until his retirement in 1997, died June 24, in Phoenix, Ariz. A service to celebrate his life was held June 26 at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Phoenix.

Born Aug. 14, 1941, in Winston Salem, N.C., Shachtman graduated from Fairborn (Ohio) High School in 1959 and earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University in 1963. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1968.

His principal area of research at UNC was health operations.  He held appointments with the Curriculum in Operations Research and Systems Analysis, at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and at the Carolina Population Center.

Principal investigator (PI) for many grants and contracts, Shachtman served as director of the Center for Statistics and Data Management for Project SENIC (Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control) and was PI for the corresponding contact funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  At the time, according to the CDC, this was the largest research project ever funded by that agency.

While professor of biostatistics at UNC’s School of Public Health, Shachtman and his wife, Ann Mirvis, founded NOW! AudioVideo (Stereo Sound), headquartered in Hillsborough, N.C., in 1974.

Surviving are Mirvis, his wife of nearly 52 years, whom he married on July 4, 1965, in Washington, D.C.; his son, Marc Shachtman (and wife Jessica); his daughter, Susan Silver (and husband Brent); grandsons Noah and Evan Silver and Aiden Shachtman; his brother, Doug Shachtman; and nephews, Colin and Robert Shachtman.

Memorial donations may be made to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center, through the Barrow Neurological Foundation.


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu