In Memoriam: Jon A. Chilingerian
On May 5, 2023, the field of healthcare management and HCMD lost a giant with the passing of Jon Chilingerian, who was my mentor, research collaborator, and friend for over 30 years. His death leaves a very big hole in so many lives in so many places around the globe. A former Chair of our Division, he was a key contributor to HCMD for many years with his service recognized when he received the 2010 Myron Fottler Exceptional Service Award.
Here is an excerpt from the announcement released by my alma mater, the Heller School at Brandeis University:
Jon was a national leader in working with medical societies to advance professional development for physicians, including work with the American College of Surgeons, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, the European Health Leader's Program, and the Advanced Health Policy and Leadership Academy in partnership with the Hanley Center in Maine.
As a scholar, Jon co-authored International Health Care Management, published by Elsevier Press in 2005, and The Lessons and the Legacy of the Pew Health Policy Program, published in 1997 by the Institute of Medicine National Academy Press. He published scholarly papers and reviewed essays in journals such as Annals of Operational Research, Medical Care, European Journal of Operational Research, Health Services Research, Health Care Management Review, Medical Care Research and Review, Inquiry, Health Services Management Research, and The Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. He pioneered using Data Envelopment Analysis in health care, advancing quality, productivity, and technical change in orthopedic, cardiac, and breast cancer surgeries. Jon brought Heller the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) predoctoral fellowships. This work has had a great impact on the direction of health services and policy research nationally and internationally.
Jon recently completed his latest book, The New Science of Medicine and Management: A Comprehensive Case-Based Guide for Clinical Leaders (Springer Nature).
Jon received his PhD from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and joined the Heller faculty in 1987. Jon was an adjunct at Heller before receiving his PhD.
Jon brought practical expertise to his studies, building on his service before graduate school as Assistant Health Commissioner for the City of Boston. In addition to his continued work advancing practice, Jon served as a leader among scholars, including being past-chair of the Health Care Management Division of the Academy of Management, the 2010 recipient of the Myron Fottler Exceptional Service Award for the Academy of Management, and the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Royce Laycock Recognition of Excellence Award, American College of Surgeons, Association for Surgical Education. This April, Jon was awarded the Heller Teaching Excellence Award based on enthusiastic votes by EMBA students.
Jon is survived by his wife, Dianne, and his two children, Christine Chilingerian '07 and John Chilingerian '10, Heller MBA'16.
His wife Dianne recently alerted me to two posthumous awards Jon received: 1) the Wally Hopp Best Healthcare Paper Award from the Production and Operations Management Society, and 2) the 2023 Professor of the Year Award from Business Leaders and Professions’ Top 100 Registry. As noted in the excerpt above, in April 2023 Jon received the Heller School Teaching Excellence Award. Diane also shared with me one of the nominations for this award that Jon received from a former student. She thought this nomination was an especially apt tribute to Jon, and I quite agree:
Jon Chilingerian is what all educators should strive to be. He skillfully intertwined his areas of expertise with a nonjudgmental environment that promoted an exchange of ideas and learning at its highest level. I felt as though I was being educated by someone who cared not only about the material but about me as a person. I have never experienced this feeling in all of my years as a student. This fact pushed me to work as hard as I could to master the material. Simply put Dr. Chilingerian is amazing at what he does and deserves the recognition.
As I have now returned home and people continue to ask what was the highlight of this 16 month learning experience. What quickly comes to mind is lecture #2 or #3 when Jon told us that he understands that we are all frustrated at work and have pursued an MBA to obtain solutions to fix healthcare. Jon stated the answer is…“you must love your patients and co-workers.” I could not wrap my head around such a foreign concept at the moment. But darn it he was right! I came to Heller to learn about finance, accounting and operations management, however the most important lesson was about love. I have taken Jon’s message back to my workplace and it is already paying dividends. Matriculating through the program has been a transformative experience all because of Dr. Chilingerian. I pray that I may impact one person, the way Jon has impacted thousands of students and organizations. He was indeed a force!
If you knew Jon, please share with his family a memory of him or ways he inspired you and made a difference: www.kudoboard.com/boards/MYRQduVQ
He will be deeply missed at the AoM meeting in Boston this coming August.
Chair, Department of Healthcare Management