Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jerry Matczak

Jerry Matczak passed away suddenly last Thursday at the much-too-young age of 54.

I can say, without exaggeration, that Jerry embodied pretty much everything I aspire to be in my professional life. The MedCityNews headline called him a “social media guru”, but in reality he was temperamentally the exact opposite of a "guru":

He was constantly curious; it seemed that every conversation I had with him was composed mainly of questions. Many of us try to be “listen first, talk second” types, but Jerry was a “listen first, ask questions, listen some more, then talk” type.

He also never stopped trying to figure out how to improve whatever he was working on. He participated in a lot of pilot projects, which means he was a part of a lot of projects that didn’t meet their objectives – but I never witnessed Jerry being the least bit negative or frustrated. Every project was just another opportunity to learn more.

Mostly, though, Jerry was remarkable in his ability to connect with patients, even patients who were deeply distrustful of his employer and industry. If nothing else, I hope you read the words of two such patients, coming from very different places, with remarkably similar reactions to Jerry:

Jerry, thank you for your service and your example. I carry it with me.

1 comment:

Laure Meehan said...

Thanks, Paul. I never met -- or talked to -- Jerry. Just Twitter. But the effect he had both on patients and colleagues is evident, and it warms me to read about the lasting impressions he's left on his community. Through all of you, he lives on.