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Tributes and Honors for Jessie Gruman


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CFAH is collecting tributes to Jessie that have been published since her death on July 14th. Here are some recent acknowledgments and awards that have come to our attention. If you know of others, please notify us via email or tweet them using @JessieGruman.

"Everyone working toward more patient-friendly health care lost a valuable ally when Jessie Gruman died of cancer this summer. I met Jessie when she spoke at the Alliance Annual Seminar in 2008. Through my work as a freelance journalist, I was able to interview Jessie four times over the years on behalf of varied publications. Whether she was persuading providers to listen to patients' concerns or helping patients understand how to manage their finances during a serious illness, she was always thoughtful, articulate and caring." – Darla Dernovsek, the Alliance...more

"Dr. Gruman fought tirelessly as a health behavior advocate and, unfortunately, knew all too well the struggles of dealing with serious illnesses. Dr. Gruman battled several cancers during her lifetime and, all the while, stayed committed to describing and bettering the health care experience of patients like herself. Dr. Gruman was an SBM fellow and this year, just before her passing, her colleagues created SBM's Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement to annually recognize an individual who has made a pivotal contribution to research, practices, and policies that have advanced the understanding of patient engagement... In subsequent years, other deserving individuals will be honored with the award, and Dr. Gruman's legacy will live on." – Lisa Klesges, PhD, president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine...more

"The leaders of the participatory medicine movement and the editorial staff of the Journal of Participatory Medicine owe Jessie, one of the founding editors, a great debt of gratitude. Jessie represented the voice of "the patient" as co-editor in chief of the Journal... Jessie had a uniquely constructive approach to participatory medicine that will be sorely missed and will not easily be replaced. Our lives were enriched by her intellect, her humor and her friendship. Participatory medicine is different, and better, because of what Jessie accomplished while she lived, and by what she has left behind. We should all aspire to leave as meaningful a legacy." – Charlie Smith, MD, the Journal of Participatory Medicine...more

Presidential Citation from the Society for Public Health Education

During the last year of her life Jessie was honored by several organizations, including the Society for Public Health Education. Founded in 1950, SOPHE provides global leadership to the profession of health education and promotes the health of all people. At the organization's annual meeting in Baltimore this March, SOPHE president Kelli McCormack Brown, PhD, CHES, conferred a Presidential Citation on Jessie, remarking:

"One of the traditions of the SOPHE President is to acknowledge extraordinary efforts of any individual or organization in advancing the field of health and health education. This year, it gives me great pleasure to award one of two Presidential Citations to Dr. Jessie Gruman. Jessie, as a behavioral scientist, patient, and founder of the Center for Advancing Health, you have significantly advanced the dialogue to help ensure that health care decision-making is truly patient-centered. Too often, the patient's voice is not represented in health care decisions. Your efforts have impacted federal policies, changes in health care systems throughout the country, and interactions between patients, families, and health professionals. You have championed progress toward greater engagement of patients and families in health care and advocated for a more compassionate health care system that is responsive to the patient's voice. For this, we thank you and salute your efforts."

SOPHE granted 42 awards and scholarships at their annual meeting this year. More information on the awardees is available here.

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