Abraham Schneidmuhl, psychiatrist who trained alcoholism counselors


In the obituary of Dr. Abraham M. Schneidmuhl that appeared in Wednesday's editions of The Sun, his age should have been listed as 81 and the name of Dr. Wallace Mandell was misspelled.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Dr. Abraham M. Schneidmuhl, who was the first director of the Baltimore Health Department's Alcoholism Center and started a training program for alcoholism counselors, died July 8 of cancer at the Northwest Hospital Center shortly after being taken there from his Pikesville home. He was 88.

Dr. Schneidmuhl had retired from the private practice of psychiatry about 10 years ago, but until shortly before his death, he was a consultant to the Social Security Administration and a member of the medical advisory board of the Motor Vehicle Administration.

He started the Baltimore center for the outpatient treatment of alcoholics in 1963 after doing similar work in Cheverly in Prince George's County for three years.

In 1967, he began a training program for counselors who work with alcoholics. The program included two months in the classroom and four months in area hospitals.

In 1972, Dr. Wallace Mandrell became head of a Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health program that offered a bachelor's degree to alcoholism counselors.

Dr. Mandrell said his program was based on the work of Dr. Schneidmuhl, whom he described as "a home-grown hero."

The program was very successful, he said, adding, "People began to come from all over. It was the unique program in the country."

Dr. Schneidmuhl also taught at Hopkins medical school and the School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he earned a master's degree, and was a consultant to the Army.

He left the directorship of the alcoholism center in the 1970s but continued to direct the training program.

A native of Poland who was educated at the University of Nancy in northeastern France, he fled the Nazis in World War II, first going to Vichy France, then to Spain, Portugal and finally to Canada. He came to the United States in 1947.

He was a physician at hospitals in Canada and in Arkansas before he came to the Baltimore area in 1948. He did his psychiatric training at Spring Grove Hospital Center and worked for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

He was a member of the Beth El Congregation.

His daughter, Dr. Cecilia Schocket, also a psychiatrist who lives in Pikesville, described him as a "refined, elegant, tremendously warm person."

His wife, Dr. Frances Schneidmuhl, the former Frances Korzec, is a dentist.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include two granddaughters.

Services were held July 10.

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