Dec. 24, 2021 — Kristy Hammam, WebMD’s former editor-in-chief and senior vp, has died of breast most cancers. She was 50 years previous.
Kristy resigned from a 22-year profession at WebMD in June 2021, after shedding a lot of her eyesight because of remedies in her combat in opposition to triple-negative breast most cancers. She recounted her prognosis and her expertise as a affected person in a current 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 was instrumental in creating the annual Well being Heroes Awards to assist WebMD acknowledge standouts in well being and medication. From most cancers survivors, to researchers who’re altering lives and younger individuals who reprsent the very best way forward for well being and medication, Well being Heroes grew to become a novel discussion board for the brightest lights within the business.
Kristy started her profession as a author and replica editor at CNN earlier than becoming a member of the medical information service Greenberg Information Networks, the place she produced a every day broadcast for Medcast. She was finally promoted to move of programming. Greenberg was acquired by Healtheon and WebMD, and she or he continued to develop with the corporate to turn into its editorial director, answerable for many of the operations of WebMD’s Atlanta workplace.
Kristy was recognized by her colleagues for the talents 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 best way she made everybody really feel vital, equivalent to listening respectfully and looking for out views which will have been totally different from her personal throughout conferences. She would usually encourage individuals to take dangers and was usually the primary to have fun her colleagues’ skilled accomplishments and private joys.
“Her door was all the time open,’’ mentioned Kristy’s former government 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 informed her. “You might be uncomfortable addressing a bunch, however I really feel that you just do it nicely, so you may be talking.”
Beloved by her co-workers at WebMd, Kristy inspired the corporate to have interaction extra with its communities and arranged paid volunteer days for workers.
“Nobody had an even bigger impression on my profession at WebMD than Kristy,” mentioned Michael Smith, MD, a former chief medical editor at WebMD. “She helped form who I’m right this moment each personally and professionally. Her impression will all the time be felt.”
Within the workplace, Kristy championed the concept of an occasions committee and helped manage occasions that grew to become firm traditions, equivalent to a Halloween occasion and a potluck Thanksgiving dinner that made lots of our household feasts pale by comparability.
Kristy was instrumental in serving to to form WebMd by the years. For instance, she performed a key function in constructing out medical reference for customers 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 Pageant.
“Proper from the beginning, Kristy did an incredible job,” mentioned Steve Zatz, MD, former chief government officer at WebMD. “She was capable of juggle all these disparate tasks that she had and do them fantastically. She might wrangle celebrities and spreadsheets with equal ability.”
Even after she was recognized with most cancers and began chemotherapy, Kristy actively guided the editorial group by 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 unique place,” mentioned Kristy’s mom, Marilyn Lawson.