Farewell Kevin Leonard

I try hard to live my life with few regrets. There are many reasons for doing so, the most pragmatic of which is that it is virtually impossible to know what might have happened along the road not traveled.  Every once in a while, though, there are events in my life that regret. One of these regrets is not finding the time to book lunch with Kevin Leonard after committing to do so when I saw him at eHealth 2013 in Ottawa.

I have known Kevin for close to 10 years.  We first met at an eHealth conference in Toronto in 2005 after I attended a presentation on person health records for citizens (click here to read a review of this presentation by Hans Oh).  I was intrigued by what at the time was the rather novel perspective that patients should have access to their data.   When he mentioned his new book, A Prescription for Patience: A Guide to Improving Our Healthcare System, I made it a point to hang around after the presentation to buy a copy and get him to sign it for me.

Although Kevin and I did not always share the same views on matters related to eHealth, we had mutual respect for each other’s opinions. I always welcomed the opportunity to chat with Kevin and was thrilled when he asked me to guest lecture at one of his courses in the fall of 2012.  It is a highlight of my eHealth career that I will always cherish.

Kevin is a wonderful example of how to effect change.   He didn’t just complain about what bothered him  He took action and encouraged others to do the same.

I regret that I was unable to find the time to have lunch with Kevin before he died.  It is truly a missed opportunity, one that I know I would have enjoyed.

Mike

 

3 responses to “Farewell Kevin Leonard

  1. william pascal

    I too share Michael’s view on life. We worry too much about what happened or what will happen while we should be taking what life offers us and embrace it with passion. This is how Kevin lived his life. I met Kevin 15 years ago when I was exploring why IT projects fail and how we could improve the probability of success. Kevin and I had long conversations on this topic and through this time together he started to share his own difficult journey with Krohn’s.

  2. Kevin was a great human being, will miss him;

  3. william pascal

    I share Michael’s view on life. We worry too much about what happened or what will happen while we should be taking what life offers us in the moment and embrace it with passion. This is how Kevin lived his life. I met Kevin 15 years ago when I was exploring why IT projects fail and how we could improve the probability of success. Kevin and I had long conversations on this topic and through this time together he started to share his own difficult journey with Krohn’s.

    Through these discussions I became so impressed by Kevin’s ability to focus on today, not complain about the challenges he had faced and what it proffered for the future. He truly lived in the moment. I too was introduced to Kevin’s passion to open up the health care system to be more patient centric. We still have a lot of work to do to make this a reality and unfortunately we have lost one of our true champions.

    The last time I had time with Kevin was at eHealth as well. We had promised to get together in the summer to continue or discussions. This did not happen. A lost opportunity to share time with a friend but his inspiration for life will never be forgotten.

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