20 healthcare leaders respond to the sudden death of Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson

Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, died in his sleep early Sunday at 60 years old. His sudden death led to an outpouring of condolences from the healthcare community. 

Below are 20 reactions:

Editor's Note: Responses were lightly edited for length.

Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare

"Rest In Peace @BernardJTyson. You were fearless in your quest for health equity. I admire you greatly."

Ashish Jha, MD, dean of global strategy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

"This is such sad and shocking news. Bernard Tyson was one of the giants of American medicine and a fearless advocate for equity and better care for all Americans. His sudden loss makes us all poorer."

Paul Markovich, president and CEO at Blue Shield of California

"It is an incredibly sad day. I had the honor and pleasure of working with Bernard and will always remember him for his intelligence, insight, humor and passion for universal, equitable healthcare coverage. Healthcare lost a giant today. "

Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health

"So sad to hear of the passing of Bernard Tyson. We have been friends, colleagues and competitors for over 35 years. Rest in peace my friend. Love to your family."

Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association

"The field has lost a giant in health care. Bernard Tyson was a champion for creating a more integrated and coordinated delivery system and expanding coverage and access. He was deeply passionate about the need to focus on wellness and prevention and was a tireless advocate for equitable care. He was a thoughtful voice on building a better future for all."

Jhaymee Tynan, assistant vice president of integration at Atrium Health

"Rest in Power Bernard Tyson. You inspired so many to fight for diversity, inclusion and equity. Your inspiration will live on."

Kecia Kelly, division chief nursing officer of CommonSpirit Health's Northern California Division. 

"Words cannot even begin to express the sadness I am feeling at this very moment. Today, we lost a true American hero of healthcare. Bernard Tyson was not only the face of Kaiser, but the complete future of healthcare as we know it. I am so incredibly grateful for your service, Mr. Tyson. I am truly honored to have been able to serve under your leadership. You will be sorely missed. "

Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health.

"Sad news about a fine man I knew for many years. My condolences to Bernie's loved ones and colleagues."

Rosan Petrillo, manager of equity, inclusion and diversity at Kaiser Permanente-Georgia Region. 

"We're heartbroken, honestly. Such an incredible man, phenomenal leader and outstanding catalyst of change in the world. A huge loss for the healthcare community and KP."

Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health.

"I'll miss Bernie's keen mind and good nature, as well as his unique ability to rally people from all walks of life around a singular goal of making healthcare better for all Americans."

Shafiq Rab, senior vice president & CIO, Rush University Medical Center. 

"Our profound condolences and prayers for the family. He was my mentor and loved roses."

Andre Boyd, COO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

"This is very sad news. He was truly an outstanding visionary leader that made an amazing impact on this world. He was a great example of a servant leader that truly cared about people. My prayers go out to his family."

Karen DeSalvo, MD, chief health officer of Google and professor at Dell Medical School

"We have lost, far too soon, a giant in health care.  A thoughtful, visionary person with a legacy of bringing health beyond healthcare."

Scott Becker, publisher of Becker's Healthcare

"Bernard Tyson was a once-in-a-generation inspirational leader. This is an awful loss for our country."   

Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

"We offer our condolences to Bernard's family, friends and colleagues. Our members dedicate their lives to helping people through tragedy and trauma, and they understood that a strike would not be appropriate during this period of mourning and reflection."

Sachin Jain, MD, CEO of CareMore and Aspire Health

"The healthcare industry mourns the loss of one of its leading lights, Bernard Tyson. Tyson inspired so many with his vision around integrated care, social determinants of health and just doing the right thing for people and patients."

Esther Choo, MD, associate professor, Oregon Health & Science University

"Bernard Tyson’s rise carried with it a ripple effect of diversity in senior roles across Kaiser Permanente. A momentous loss."

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California 

"He truly ‘walked the talk’ in his concern for making healthcare not just a right, but something that is affordable and centered on the great diversity of patients. His efforts will have a lasting imprint on California and the nation."

Ceci Connoly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans. 

"Bernard was a visionary leader with a passion for health equity, quality care and serving those in need. His loss is a loss for all who strive to improve the quality of care and coverage in the American healthcare system."

Eric Topol, MD, Medscape editor-in-chief, executive vice president of Scripps Research and Gary & Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine

"Deeply saddened to learn of @BernardJTyson's passing, one of America's great leaders in healthcare."

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