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November 26, 2009


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In the early 1990s Merck & Co. was one of several business sponsors of my non-profit organization. When I learned I was to be visited by a Dr. Richard Goodstein I anticipated a typical corporate kicking-the-tires exercise to check up on a grantee organization. Man, I could not have been more wrong. In Buzz Goodstein I encountered one of the kindest, most selfless and genuinely uplifting souls of my career. Buzz led a remarkably consequential life as a physician, innovator and teacher. Yet you could wait a long time to catch Buzz talking about himself. He was almost pathologically helpful, offering cogent advice, thoughtful insights, and networking skills to accomplish worthy objectives. Buzz was an Olympic class Connector. These are the ones described by Malcolm Gladwell in "The Tipping Point" as people with a special gift for bringing the world together...a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack for making friends and acquaintances. Could there be a better description of the founder, energizer and central hub of "The Good Guys Club"? Even in retirement and when confronting the disease that would end his life, Buzz taught us all the nobility of fighting for better health, for advancing scientific knowledge, fostering better medical practices, and most of all to never, never, never, never give in. What a life! We are all lucky to have been touched by him.

I still am having a hard time thinking that our BUZZ is gone. Although he will live in the hearts and minds of many. Buzz hired me in 1982 as the director of staff development at Carrier Clinic. He was the best boss I ever had. He became a mentor,colleague and a wonderful friend over the next 27 years. He had a way of always making you feel very special and was always genuinely concerned about you and your life. My partner Milt was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 and Buzz helped us navigate the system and connect us with Dr. Scher who is a leading oncologist in this area at MSK. I will personally miss his sense of humor and his big heart. He probably is and will be the most formidable net worker I have ever known, I learned a lot from him and will always be grateful for having him in my life...Linda Rusch

Buzz was a wonderful friend and personal mentor over the course of 25 years. We were both psychiatrists at the Carrier Foundation. He recruited me into the pharmaceutical industry where I had the priviledge of working with him for six years. He was a rare blend of selflessness, intelligence, grace, professionalism and kindness. His greatest strength was the magic he made as a connector, introducing people and their potentials to one another. Buzz built the Good Guys club with that goal in mind. He always saw the bright side of life, always saw the positive in people, laughed heartily, and never complained despite the slings and arrows that at times came his way. His other great strength was vision, seeing opportunities and possibilities where others had not yet ventured. The Good Guys club was his vehicle to keep professionals connected and share possibilities and linkages in a non-threatening and supportive manner. Buzz made everyone who met him feel special, and he had an uncanny abiltiy to touch others, empathize and inspire. His work highlighting the PSA velocity issue was only one of many selfless acts in a lifetime of giving and caring for others, educating others, and improving healthcare through knowledge and innovation. He was a truly remarkable man, graceful, joyous, inspired and kind. His memory is best served by emulating and living these same spirited characteristics.

I met Buzz more than 20 years ago. When I discovered the good guys it was an amazing network of people helping people. Soon after meeting Buzz, I remember mentioning to him that I had a project that I was trying to execute but I hit a snag. Buzz gave me a couple of names and numbers and said just call, tell them you're one of the good guys and I'm sure they will offer you some terrific support. He was right. Over the years whether I was the one seeking help or another was seeking help, knowing that we were good guys always meant you would be warmly received and you would either get the support needed or provide the support needed. I think he enjoyed being the catalyst for so many people to connect and advance good works. I always enjoyed brainstorming ideas with Buzz because he was always eager to be a force to make good ideas become real. I hope that the good guys will find a way to continue in the spirit that Buzz had created it.

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