By Keri Forsythe-Stephens
To say that Bill Hyman was memorable would be a vast understatement. Although I never met him personally, he became a familiar figure in my email inbox. Every few months or so, Bill would send me an article either challenging or educating the HTM profession—usually both. (Currently, the most-read article on our site is one of Bill’s recent contributions, “Determining the Expected Life of a Medical Device.” Read it here.)
So, when I saw Bill’s name pop up in my inbox late last week—this time announcing his death—I felt a real sense of loss. The industry lost one of its greats when Bill passed—and 24×7 lost one of its best contributors. And, from a personal standpoint, I’m miss my email correspondence with him.
In a press release, the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE)—an organization Bill served for many years—announced his passage, calling him a “fount of knowledge and humor.” The ACCE also listed many of Bill’s achievements—namely, serving on the U.S. Board of Examiners for Clinical Engineering Certification, his tenure as president of the ACCE Healthcare Technology Foundation, and his longtime editorship of the Journal of Clinical Engineering—in addition to his numerous educational feats.
“[Bill] devoted his entire career to passing on the torch of knowledge to others,” the ACCE wrote, pointing to his professorship at Texas A&M University. There, Bill helped turn Texas A&M’s fledgling bioengineering program into a full Department of Biomedical Engineering while simultaneously bringing applied sciences into the research fold. In 2011, Professor Emeritus Hyman returned to the collegiate sector—this time serving as adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at his alma mater, The Cooper Union in New York.
When he wasn’t educating the next great minds in HTM—those who will likely carry on the legacy he leaves—Bill was writing. He wrote a lot—13 books and more than 100 other works, to be exact. As an editor, I always looked forward to Bill’s contributions because I knew that they would be intelligent, to the point, and thought-provoking—like him.
His friends at the ACCE also appreciated these attributes in him. “Bill was a keen observer of the profession, seeing practice gaps in need of attention that others missed,” the ACCE wrote. “He could play the maverick, but was always the professional. A thoughtful straight-shooter, Bill has been likened to ‘the spine that kept us straight.’ He was a giant among us and will be missed.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Please share your condolences and favorite memories of Bill here.
Keri Forsythe-Stephens is chief editor of 24×7 Magazine. Questions and comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.