Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I am reaching out to you today while sadly reflecting on the tragic events that took place in our city of Pittsburgh yesterday. Pittsburgh is a strong, resilient, and close-knit community that prides itself on the compassion and welcoming nature of our people. This is particularly true for our friends in Squirrel Hill.
Everyone has been shocked by this senseless act, and we at Pitt Dental Medicine stand with the world in supporting our community during this time of need.
It is heartbreaking to report to you that one of the victims was a member of our Pitt Dental family--Dr. Richard Gottfried. Dr. Gottfried graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1974 with a Baccalaureate degree in English literature, and received his doctorate in dentistry from the School of Dental Medicine in 1980. He had served as a volunteer faculty member of our school and regularly provided free care in the Pittsburgh community to those in need. His wife, Dr. Margaret A. Durachko, also received her degree from Pitt Dental Medicine in 1981. Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to all those affected by this tragic event, particularly those who cared for and knew Dr. Gottfried.
All of us will support those affected in many ways in the coming weeks—individually and collectively. One of the best ways we can step forward is to be kind and spread the kindness that helps define our city, despite this tragedy. We will rise up with kindness to one another.
If you are a Pitt employee or student and affected by this incident, you may find resources here.
Yours in service,
Bernard J. Costello DMD, MDa
Dean and Professor
University of Pittsburgh-School of Dental Medicine