It is written in the Talmud that "The highest form of wisdom is kindess."
Our friend and colleague John Vernon, who passed away suddenly on June 19th, was very wise.
The health policy community is well aware of John's brilliance as an economist and his contribution to the literature on thevalue of biomedical
innovation. That legacy will endure. And we are honored to have worked alongside him on several publications, particularly in the area of comparative
effectiveness research, which he pursued with passion and intellectual precision.
But we knew John best for his gentle determination in the face of incredible personal tragedy, his genorosity and dedication, his open heart and devotion to his friends, his family and his son.
His death is truly tragic. He was to begin a new position and a new health policy program at Purdue, close to his son. We had talked at length about Indiana being a great place to live and raise a family. It seemed that the one person who deserved a blessed existence was getting his due, plus interest.
Now we can only remember by continuing his work and following his example of kindness, courage and unconditional love.
The Talmud also observes:
“There are stars who's light only reaches the earth long after they have fallen apart. There are people who's remembrance gives light in this world, long after they have passed away. This light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow.”
So too will our friend John Vernon's kindess light the way for us, now and in the the future, no matter how dark the days ahead. We will miss him greatly but will honor him even more.