I was saddened yesterday at the news that Steve Huesing, one of Canada’s true eHealth pioneers, had passed away. I won’t try to sum up Steve’s accomplishments nor offer my thoughts on Steve’s impact on the Canadian eHealth market; others will do a much better job than I over the next few days. Rather, I’d like to offer a personal persective on the Steve Huesing that I came to know and admire.
I had not known Steve for many years. We first met about 5 years ago when I was gathering material for a comprehensive examination of the Canadian eHealth market. A couple years later, Steve, as publisher of Healthcare Information Management and Communications Canada (HIM&CC) magazine offered me a regular column entitled the “Last Word” (located, appropriately enough, on the last page of each issue of the magazine). I knew that Steve could be quite opinionated; I had heard so from other people and had witnessed Steve expressing his opinions on more than one occasion. Hence, it came as quite a shock when Steve rejected one of my columns, stating that he couldn’t publish it “as written” because it was too confrontational (my wife rolled her eyes and said something like “I told you so”). While we finally did settle on wording that was acceptable to Steve (and, I must confess, to me as well), I deliberately chose a more neutral topic for my next column, only to be chided by Steve for writing a “safe” article. Through this process I discovered what will likely be recognized as one of Steve’s legacies – a passion for honest, open, and respectful debate.
HIM&CC is manifestation of Steve’s passion. It provides a unique vehicle for people like me to express their views. Though Steve would not hestitate tell me when I have moved outside the realm of respectful debate, he imposed few editorial restrictions and celebrated honest differences of opinion. Perhaps the greatest tribute that we can pay Steve is to continue to support HIM&CC, both financially, and by contributing articles that provoke thought and stir debate.
Steve, I will miss you. Rest in peace.