Yesterday morning, I found out that fellow health innovator & advocate for change (especially in the patient world), Jess Jacobs, passed away.
Many in the healthcare social media ecosystem have been sharing their reflections on one of the most memorable individuals who not only made healthcare innovation part of her career (from HHS where she helped to promote Text4Baby to Aetna’s Innovation Lab), but also lived inside of the many pain points associated with the system.
Over the past nearly 10 years of being involved in the industry, I’ve come across many people working on creating impact for health & healthcare — many with various missions, values and characteristics. Jess, who I met for the first time a few years ago at a TEDMED event, was so full of energy and inspirational warmth that you wouldn’t think that she was battling chronic disease. Jess did so with a level of grace & tenacity that hearing her stories and insights to change the industry, made you want to work that much harder on making them realities.
In the past 24 or so hours, there have been some great reflections & resources to showcase Jess’ legacy as an advocate, innovator & overall great person.
- Jess Jacob’s personal website & blog
- Her Twitter account (which documented quite a bit of her hospital woes & frustrations, often times with a hint of dark humor)
- A reflection on Jess’ life from healthcare innovator Mandi Bishop
- A reflection from Regina Holliday (founder of The Walking Gallery and of the 73 Cents document that we premiered at the first FastForward Health Film Festival)
- A link to her speaking videos at the 2014 Health 2.0 conference (thanks to colleague Brian Ahier for the link)
I’m sure more will come in over the next few days. But as I take a pause to think about what Jess represented and how I can help move some of those dreams forward in the world of health/healthcare, it’s sometimes easy to forget how each of us here has the ability to make an impact, with the amount of time we have in this life.
We’re going to miss you, Jess.