Tim mentored me, helped me hone my skills, connected me with like-minded people and set me on a course of far greater success than I ever could have accomplished by myself. For that alone, I am eternally grateful.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueAugust 2020
Tim was a colleague and a best friend all rolled into one. We both tilted at windmills for a living. Sometimes we would sign our emails as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, other times as Batman and Robin.
And then came the book. Tim approached me nonchalantly one day and said “Hey, we should write a book together about how to make great healthcare.”
And I said, “Hey, sounds like fun. I’m in.”
And so it began. The most arduous project I had ever undertaken. And the most enjoyable, the most lasting—and the career achievement of which I am the proudest. It truly was a labor of love. And it made an indelible mark on its readers. The best part, however, was getting to work with Tim, putting our creative hats on and getting to tell each other stories—stories of life, stories of family and stories of hope.
I saw Tim last face to face at the ACR/ARP Annual Meeting in Atlanta, November 2019. There, he was receiving his third major international ACR award—the trifecta of perfecta. I spoke with him a few minutes before the award in a packed and noisy auditorium. I always liked to kid Tim, and I commented that he was looking more and more every day like John Bolton. He laughed a bit, but I do believe he thought I said Michael Bolton. We enjoyed a wonderful meal together at the end of the conference—a tradition we both committed to year after year—for there is no better way to close out a trip with a friend than a meal and a cab (the wine, not the vehicle).
As I think about Tim’s many accomplishments and I think about legacy, Tim may have asked himself, what will be left behind? A loving family to be sure. But what about professionally? Well, I think it starts with a cadre of colleagues (and thus, for Tim, friends as well) who not only remember his work, but live it and breathe it and put it into practice every day to help our care teams and our patients.
Tim created a different way of thinking and practicing through expressive writing, such as Great Health Care: Making it Happen and Great Health Care Value, and through process-redesign programs, such as the Rheumatoid Arthritis Practice Performance (RAPP) Project. These accomplishments have transformed how we do what we do—now and for many generations to come.