Last week we gathered several tributes to Jessie that were published in the days following her death on July 14. Here are additional acknowledgments of Jessie that have come to our attention since then. If you know of others, please notify us via email or tweet them using @JessieGruman and we will share them similarly here. Thank you.
While medical advances and ongoing treatment played a large role in Gruman's ability to live 40 years with cancer on and off, her own contributions were probably a part of it too. They included examining the evidence for herself and sometimes challenging doctors' opinions... In her time leading the Center for Advancing Health, Gruman worked at the forefront of studying patient decision-making processes and championing patient empowerment. She also offered skepticism and criticism – for instance, highlighting some missed promises of digital health and pointing out the tension between population-based care and personalized medicine... Participation, just as much as engagement, was Gruman's motto... more – by Anthony Brino, Editor, HIEWatch, on Healthcare IT News
As a colleague, Jessie had the unique combination of intellectual brilliance and impatience required to advance the field. And that she did... She advocated for policy change and worked tirelessly within and across organizations for change. She wrote voluminously and pointedly from her unique perch about what needs to happen, how it can happen and how it does happen. She convened meetings that brought together leaders to not only puzzle through the knotty problems of engaging patients in health and health care, but to move forward from top to bottom. It is impossible to catalog her contributions... more – by Connie Davis, CFAH William B. Ziff Fellow and Faculty Member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Blue Shirt blog
A true patient advocate, she promoted not only patient engagement but the use of evidence-based medicine to support the adoption of healthy behavior. In addition to her professional career, Gruman defined herself as a musician, avid reader of poetry and interested in foreign policy, the media and global health... In her own words, "I believe that health care is a shared enterprise: that my clinicians can't ease my pain or cure my diseases without my participation, just as I would not be here today without theirs. My aim is to encourage professionals and patients to find a common understanding of their shared challenge with the aim of helping each individual live well for as long as possible."... more – on the Disruptive Women in Health Care blog
Jessie was an inspiring and passionate advocate for patients, and her work has touched many facing the challenges of a chronic illness. We were recently honored to celebrate Jessie's work at the 2013 Rays of Hope event, where she was the recipient of the NCCS Excellence in Media Award for her contributions to encouraging patient engagement and her exceptional achievements in furthering the interests of cancer survivors through media. Our condolences go out to her colleagues, friends, and family. It was truly an honor to share in her warm spirit and passion for advocacy, and she will be greatly missed... more – by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
A message from Jessie's family:
We are incredibly overwhelmed and honored by the outpouring of love, admiration and grief following Jessie's death. Though we knew this was likely Jessie's last cancer, she and Richard, Jessie's husband (my brother), fought so tenaciously for so very long.
A light has gone out in our family, and we greatly appreciate knowing that you share our devastation, shock and loss. I'm sure you will hear more from us, but please know what a comfort it is to read all of these tributes, tweets and comments.
Memorial services honoring Jessie will be held in New York City and Washington, DC in the fall. Jessie's family has asked that contributions be made to: