Jessie Gruman was founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health, a nonpartisan, Washington-based research institute, from 1992 until her death in 2014. CFAH activities are supported by foundations and individuals. The mission of CFAH is to increase people’s engagement in their health care. As president Dr. Gruman drew on her own experience of treatment for five cancer diagnoses, interviews with patients and caregivers, surveys and peer-reviewed research to describe and advocate for policies and practices to overcome the challenges people face in finding good care and getting the most from it.
Gruman worked on this same set of concerns in the private sector (AT&T), the public sector (National Cancer Institute) and the voluntary health sector (American Cancer Society).
She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations and was a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and the Society for Behavioral Medicine. She received honorary doctorates from Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Clark University, Georgetown University, New York University, Northeastern University, Salve Regina University, Syracuse University and Tulane University, and the Presidential Medal of the George Washington University. She was also honored by Research!America, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine, which in 2014 created the Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement to recognize annually an individual who has made a pivotal contribution to research, practice or policy in the field of health engagement.
Gruman received a B.A. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Columbia University and was a professorial lecturer in the School of Public Health and Health Services at the George Washington University.
Gruman was the author of AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You – or Someone You Love – a Devastating Diagnosis (Walker Publishing, second edition, 2010); Slow Leaks: Missed Opportunities to Encourage Our Engagement in Our Health Care (Health Behavior Media, 2013); A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects(Health Behavior Media, 2013); The Experience of the American Patient: Risk, Trust and Choice (Health Behavior Media, 2009); Behavior Matters (Health Behavior Media, 2008) as well as scientific papers and opinion essays and articles. She blogged regularly on the Prepared Patient Blog and tweeted on weekdays @jessiegruman.
Read the collection of essays from Jessie Gruman