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The recent untimely death of John Eisenberg, who was director of the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), leaves a void in the international healthcare research, quality, and patient safety movement. Until the last few weeks of his life John kept up a full workload, including writing an editorial with Gregg Meyer for the first issue of Quality and Safety in Health Care,1 a manuscript that turned out to be his last. John, despite his illness, insisted on corrections up to the deadline.
During John's tenure at AHRQ he established the agency as the premier quality and safety agency in the US. He developed extensive relationships with many countries and leaders in an effort to collaborate around the improvement of patient care and the reduction of patient harm from medical care around the world.
In an effort to understand this complex leader, we have invited several people who worked with John to share their personal reflections on what he meant to them and to help us appreciate a real visionary. This unique rashomoon will hopefully allow us to gain a better understanding of this great man.
Finally, John was proud of the journal QSHC and encouraged us to focus on patient safety as well as quality. Typical of many of his magic touches in life, he was also perhaps indirectly responsible for transformation of the journal QHC into QSHC as he introduced me to Richard Smith, editor of BMJ, at a meeting that ultimately led to the launch of QSHC. A giant has passed.
John, we will miss you.
Passing of John Eisenberg, Testimony of Senator Bill Frist, US Senate hearings, 107th Congress, 15 March 2002
Mr President, John Eisenberg, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ, succumbed to a …