By ISOQOL President Lori Frank, PhD

I was originally going to write this newsletter post to ISOQOL members about “inreach,” the process of communication with members in an organization to address member needs and to keep a sense of belonging to the organization high.

Instead, I want to write about Dennis Revicki. Dennis died suddenly on May 9. His death is a shock and a source of very deep sadness for many of us. I want to write about Dennis because of what he meant to ISOQOL, and because what he meant to me is shared and reflected by so many of us.

Dennis was a mentor. Formally, he guided those of us lucky enough to meet him early in our careers and lucky enough to have the opportunity to collaborate with him. He was a regular at the ISOQOL mentor/mentee events, sharing his time and attention generously with so many over the years. Informally he provided encouragement and teaching to a very large group. Along with David Feeny he was a founding editor of the Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, leading the years-long effort to establish the journal and leaving us with a journal exceeding expectations for quality and impact.

Dennis was a fixture at the ISOQOL annual conferences, chairing sessions and presenting some of his work from his incredibly productive career. Many of us also enjoyed some of the best meals at restaurants Dennis found, with some of the best wine that he selected.

What do we do with our shock and our sadness? I’ll share that for me, I’m reminded that I feel this loss because of how much Dennis contributed during his life. The sharp pain of knowing that something important is missing now is somewhat lessened by the recognition of just how much Dennis brought to us, and to ISOQOL. We are part of a very wide network of people who grieve his loss, but that means we are also people who benefitted from his life.

In my experience grief is more than just an emotion. It’s a time, of active mourning. It’s a place, the memory of where we have been and will no longer be. It’s an action, recollecting with the bittersweet mix of sadness and joy.

So many of us share grief, the part that can be shared. What Dennis meant in our lives individually is worth sharing but what Dennis meant to our lives, collectively, is what I want us to jointly share.

There’s a memorial page on the ISOQOL website, for all of us to recall and reflect on members who have died. We’ll be sharing more information about ways to remember Dennis over the coming months.

“Inreach” is still very important to me as one way to ensure that the ISOQOL network remains strong during this time of separation. I hope that our shared appreciation of Dennis’s contributions will reinforce the strength of our network and mitigate, somewhat, our grief at his passing.

The International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) is a global community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, industry professionals, consultants, and patient research partners advancing health related quality of life research (HRQL).

Together, we are creating a future in which patient perspective is integral to health research, care and policy.