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Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Honor of Kay Hammond

I usually never give away the recipient of the Ad Hoc Harley award, because that is part of the fun of it.  But this one is different.  Kay Hammond died yesterday.  Kay is the wife of Ed Hammond, and a long time supporter of Ed's work at HL7.  What I remember of Kay is her ballroom dancing with Ed at an HL7 reception, and her exceptionally strong support of him through the years.  She was an exceptional dancer (as is Ed), and she loved to travel, often joining Ed at HL7 International working group meetings.

What Kay did in her life should help us all remember is that among all the volunteers who make the Health IT Standards happen, there are a number of people who didn't volunteer, but without whom, some of this work would never happen.  They get to deal with long absences of their spouses several times a year (weeks at a stretch at times), sometimes going to sleep alone even when their spouse is home because they are up until impossible hours wrangling with some crazy deadline.  But they keep the home fires burning, caring for children and managing their own careers at the same time while we are working on the standards.  They willingly share their garage with stacks upon stacks of paper or computer parts, deal with missed birthdays, anniversaries and holidays with great poise, all for relatively little reward -- perhaps the occasional exotic (or more often, not so exotic) trip with their spouse who is only free some part of the time.

Please keep Ed and his family in your thoughts today as they mourn the passing of Kay.  Remember also those in your own families who support you in your work in standards, as Kay always supported Ed.

This Ad Hoc Harley is awarded posthumously to 
Kay Stuart Forrester Hammond 
for her demonstration of support for 
Healthcare Standardization 

Thank you Kay.  The award is virtual, but so now are you.  God speed.

Please join me also if you wish in making a memorial contribution in memory of Mrs. Kay Hammond to Duke Cancer Institute supporting cancer research, checks may be written to the Duke Cancer Fund, and mailed to Duke Cancer Institute DUMC, Box 3828 Durham, NC 27710.


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