July 10, 1959 - January 17, 2022
Published by The New York Times
Jeffrey Bernhard Sawyer, 62, born July 10, 1959, in Manhattan, died unexpectedly of natural causes at home on Monday, January 17, 2022, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Growing up in Greenwich Village during the 60s and 70s, he loved making mischief with his friends and cousins at his favorite local haunts-the basketball court at Peter Cooper and Washington Square Park. He spent every summer at Boiberik, a Yiddish cultural summer camp in Rhinebeck, New York, which he loved. He graduated from Friends Seminary, a quaker day school in Manhattan in 1977 and attended Brown University, earning a bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1981. He then attended medical school at SUNY Stonybrook, earning his MD in 1985. He completed two medical residencies, the first in Family Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, followed by a second residency in Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As a practicing psychiatrist for over 30 years, he specialized in addiction, mind-body medicine, and integrative health. He was known professionally for his groundbreaking approaches for treating patients and founded the Inspire Psychiatric Partial Hospital Program and the Integrated Primary Care/Behavioral Health Program at North Memorial Hospital where he was Medical Director of Psychiatry and Integrative Care. In addition to providing care at several hospitals and clinics throughout his career, he also had a private practice that evolved into co-founding two new clinics in recent years, which focused on innovative treatments including ketamine, TMS, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. He was a tireless advocate for those who could not always advocate for themselves and was intolerant of injustice.
He cared deeply about his patients and was a devoted father, husband, son, cousin, and friend. He had a deep love for music, especially James Taylor and Debbie Duncan, photography, traveling, skiing, water sports, fishing and hunting, trying new restaurants and returning to old favorites, and watching basketball with his kids. Among family and friends, he loved goofing around and had a penchant for practical jokes, which he inherited from his grandmother who was quite a prankster.
He was predeceased by his beloved grandparents Joseph and Evelyn Field, mother Patricia Sawyer, brother Wayne Sawyer, and cousin Herb Sawyer.
He is survived by his wife Karli Koski, his former wife Ruth Taswell and their two daughters Samantha and Ellie Sawyer, son Aubrey Koski, cousins Stacy Romano and Rachel Sawyer, and other devoted family and friends, who will miss him enormously.