Dec. 24, 2021 — Kristy Hammam, WebMD’s former editor-in-chief and senior vice chairman, has died of breast most cancers. She was 50 years previous.
Kristy resigned from a 22-year profession at WebMD in June 2021, after dropping a lot of her eyesight because of therapies in her battle towards triple-negative breast most cancers. She recounted her analysis and her expertise as a affected person in a latest feature story for WebMD.
Within the story, she talked in regards to the difficulties of navigating the U.S. well being care system whereas coping with most cancers, and it was her dream to begin a nonprofit to assist different sufferers who had much less assist than she did.
Kristy started her profession as a author and duplicate editor at CNN earlier than becoming a member of the medical information service Greenberg Information Networks, the place she produced a each day broadcast for Medcast. She was ultimately promoted to move of programming. Greenberg was acquired by Healtheon and WebMD, and she or he continued to develop with the corporate to develop into its editorial director, in control of a lot of the operations of WebMD’s Atlanta workplace.
Kristy was identified by her colleagues for the abilities she dropped at her work duties and for a lot of private traits that had been extremely valued. She was admired for her grace, kindness, compassion and the way in which she made everybody really feel vital, comparable to listening respectfully and in search of out views which will have been completely different from her personal throughout conferences. She would typically encourage folks to take dangers and was typically the primary to have a good time her colleagues’ skilled accomplishments and private joys.
“Her door was all the time open,’’ mentioned Kristy’s former govt assistant Mary Cooper. “She all the time had time for another person.”
Mary remembers that Kristy requested her to talk in an organization assembly, and she or he demurred, telling her boss she was shy.
“You aren’t shy!” Kristy advised her. “You might be uncomfortable addressing a bunch, however I really feel that you simply do it effectively, so you’ll be talking.”
Beloved by her co-workers at WebMd, Kristy inspired the corporate to interact extra with its communities and arranged paid volunteer days for employees.
“Nobody had a much bigger affect on my profession at WebMD than Kristy,” mentioned Michael Smith, MD, a former chief medical editor at WebMD. “She helped form who I’m in the present day each personally and professionally. Her affect will all the time be felt."Kristy was instrumental in creating the annual Well being Heroes Awards to assist WebMD acknowledge standouts in well being and drugs.Kristy championed the concept of an occasions committee and helped set up occasions that turned firm traditions, comparable to a Halloween get together and a potluck Thanksgiving dinner that made a lot of our household feasts pale by comparability.
Kristy was instrumental in serving to to form WebMd by means of the years. For instance, she performed a key position in constructing out medical reference for shoppers to incorporate award-winning well being information, options and movies. One of many proudest moments for Kristy and her colleagues was when a video About schizophrenia was featured on the Tribeca Movie Competition.
“Proper from the beginning, Kristy did an incredible job,” mentioned Steve Zatz, MD, former chief govt officer at WebMD. “She was in a position to juggle all these disparate duties that she had and do them beautifully. She might wrangle celebrities and spreadsheets with equal talent.”
Even after she was identified with most cancers and began chemotherapy, Kristy actively guided the editorial staff by means of a merger with Web Manufacturers.
Kristy earned levels in English and artwork Historical past from Emory College. She is survived by her husband Nabil, and her sons Milo and Evan, together with their prolonged household.
“We’re considering that she nonetheless has a lot extra to do, simply in a distinct place,” mentioned Kristy’s mom, Marilyn Lawson.
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