Former WebMD Editor Kristy Hammam Dies
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 She was 50 years outdated.
Kristy resigned from a 22-year profession at WebMD in June 2021, after shedding a lot of her eyesight on account of therapies in her struggle 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 concerning 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 day by day broadcast for Medcast. She was ultimately promoted to go of programming. Greenberg was acquired by Healtheon and WebMD, and he or she continued to develop with the corporate to turn out to be its editorial director, accountable for many of the operations of WebMD’s Atlanta workplace.
Kristy was recognized by her colleagues for the talents she delivered to 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 necessary, akin to listening respectfully and searching for 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 at all times open,’’ mentioned Kristy’s former government assistant Mary Cooper. “She at all times had time for another person.”
Mary remembers that Kristy requested her to talk in an organization assembly, and he or she demurred, telling her boss she was shy.
“You aren’t shy!” Kristy instructed her. “It’s possible you’ll be uncomfortable addressing a gaggle, 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 interact extra with its communities and arranged paid volunteer days for employees.
“Nobody had an even 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 as we speak each personally and professionally. Her affect will at all times be felt.”Kristy was instrumental in creating the annual Well being Heroes Awards to assist WebMD acknowledge standouts in well being and medication.Kristy championed the concept of an occasions committee and helped set up occasions that grew to become firm traditions, akin to a Halloween occasion 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 the years. For instance, she performed a key position 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 Competition.
“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 duties that she had and do them beautifully. She may 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.