Jessie Gruman, 1953-2014
A Collection of Tributes and Memorial Events
Jessie C. Gruman, Ph.D., the founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health, died at the age of 60 on July 14, 2014 at her home in New York City. A brief biographical sketch is available here.
A celebration of Jessie's life was presented by her family, friends and colleagues at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City on October 5, 2014. The program from this event is here.
A reception honoring Jessie's work at the Center for Advancing Health was held on October 9, 2014 in Washington, DC at the American Geophysical Union, which hosted CFAH's offices from 1994 to 2014. The program from this event is here.
In the weeks following Jessie's death, CFAH published a variety of tributes and remembrances.
On July 14, 2014, her death was announced by M. Chris Gibbons, chair of the CFAH board of trustees.
On July 18, Jessie's sister-in-law, Virginia Sloan, expressed appreciation on behalf of the family, and CFAH published ten excerpts from tributes.
On July 25, CFAH published four more excerpts from tributes.
On August 6, CFAH posted a remembrance by Doug Kamerow, a former CFAH board chair, originally published by The BMJ.
On August 18, CFAH posted a remembrance by Amy Berman, originally published by Health Affairs.
On August 26, CFAH published excerpts from three more tributes plus the text from a presidential citation awarded to Jessie in March by the Society for Public Health Education.
On September 17, CFAH posted a remembrance by Sarah Greene, a former CFAH board member, originally published by e-patients.net.
On October 15, CFAH posted remarks by Judith Miller Jones, a former CFAH board chair, which she delivered at the reception honoring Jessie on October 9.
On December 19, 2014, CFAH posted an essay by Kate Lorig, a William Ziff Fellow at the Center for Advancing Health.
Jessie's family has asked that contributions be made to:
Contributions were made to the Jessie Gruman Memorial Fund by:
Linda and Peter Bicks
Employer Health Care Alliance Cooperative (Wisconsin)
Sharon and Jonathan Franklin
Nancy and Paul Gaffney
Ginsberg, Helfer and Boyd, PLLC
Ethan and Margaret Gorenstein
Mary and Jim Gosnell
Sharon Hartnett and Robert Majcher
Darcy Howe and John Black
Judith Miller Jones
James and Marie Karanfilian
Debbie and Floyd Kearns
Celia Lee and Michael Bofshever
Jean and David Nathan
Janet and John Rodgers
Laura Shapiro and Jack Hawley
Sonia and Gilbert Sloan
Diane Young-Spitzer and Lorry Spitzer
Redford and Virginia Williams
Patient Engagement Is Here to Stay
January 15, 2015
Jessie Gruman founded the Center for Advancing Health in 1992 and served as president until her death in 2014. After over 20 years under her remarkable leadership, CFAH ended operations in December 2014. This post was Jessie's final essay announcing the release of CFAH’s last patient engagement research report and sharing some personal reflections on her career...
Patient Engagement: Here to Stay
July 1, 2014
What is patient engagement and what does it take to accomplish? With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CFAH set out to explore this concept as it was viewed by various diverse stakeholders. Our interviews with 35 key health care stakeholders lead to an impressive unity of opinion...
All You Do Is Complain About Health Care
June 25, 2014
"All your Prepared Patient essays do is complain about your health care and your doctors. That's why I don't read them." Yowzah! Do I really complain? Not to be defensive, but I don't think so. Every week I work to vividly describe insights that might shine a little light on this project that patients, caregivers, clinicians and policymakers – well, the list goes on – share of trying to make health care more effective and fair...
Don't Let the Sun Shine Down on Me (It's Too Complicated!)
June 18, 2014
I'm impressed by how much we struggle with seemingly simple health decisions when faced with sorting through too much information. Every week we view diverse arrays of products with health, convenience and cosmetic claims competing for our attention. Think yogurt, Gatorade, running shoes, breakfast cereal...Given the ubiquity of such products and the swirl of marketing and science- or non-science-based information surrounding each, I'm wondering three things...
Don't Forget the Hefty Price We Pay to Engage in Health
June 12, 2014
Media-fueled flip-flops and research breakthroughs on lifestyle and health behaviors are wearing down my usual patience with the provisional nature of science. Even simple dietary recommendations like lower fat/salt recommendations have become complicated as old truisms are overturned by new evidence. So I'm asking: To whom should I turn for meaningful guidance about modifying my risk for illness and boosting my health?