Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 30, 2010

Dr. David Druker of PAMF dies at home July 23

Longtime Palo Alto physician succumbs to lung cancer after multi-year battle

by Jay Thorwaldson

David Druker, M.D., president and CEO of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and a longtime practicing physician, died at his Los Altos Hills home July 23 after a three-year battle with lung cancer.

A memorial service and reception will be scheduled for this fall, with details to be announced later, according to the family.

The medical foundation is naming a new "innovation center" in his honor: the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation.

Druker, a non-smoker, had continued working in reduced capacities until shortly before his condition worsened severely in mid-July.

"We will miss his leadership, his wisdom and his open heart," Jeff Gerard, president of Sutter Health Peninsula Coastal Region, of which the medical foundation is part, said in an announcement of Druker's death.

The Weekly did an extended interview with Druker June 29 (Weekly, July 16), in which he summed up his philosophy of health care and what he felt needs to be done to extend care to more people.

"Throughout his almost three-year battle with lung cancer, David demonstrated great personal strength, perseverance, courage and selflessness," Gerard said.

"His vision for PAMF was not to create a proprietary model for success, but rather it was his vision to provide a shining example that would serve as a model for others to follow.

"From the beginning, David nurtured a culture of innovation, often being an early adopter of new technologies or creating new ways of delivering patient-centered care.

"David was a bridge-builder <0x2015> bringing people and organizations together for the betterment of all," Gerard said.

In addition to being "the architect behind the transformation of PAMF from a group practice in Palo Alto and Fremont to the regional organization that we are today," Gerard said Druker "had a great impact on the development of Sutter Health and was a member of the Sutter Management Team.

"His counsel regarding the key elements of a physician-directed organization helped shape the Sutter Medical Network and move Sutter Health from a hospital system to a true integrated health system.

"Perhaps the greatest tribute we can pay to him is to support each other, and to rededicate ourselves to the achievement of David's vision for excellence, innovation and caring."

Druker is survived by his wife Karen; son Daniel of Palo Alto; daughter Ellie McAninch of Orinda; five grandchildren; and two sisters, Hannah Heyle of New York and Leah Reider of Palo Alto.

Comments

Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Rest in peace Dr. Druker. We will miss you and your leadership.


Posted by Nan, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I posted this on another article but will add it here:
Dr. Druker was also my physician when I was young, and I am heartbroken for his family at his passing. He truly was one of the warmest, most caring doctors I have ever met. His patients were not just his patients, but people that he truly cared about. He always wanted to know how our lives were going and he always had a kind or encouraging word and a smile or a hug. His was a life well-lived.


Posted by anne, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Blessings and prayers to the family. He left a great legacy to our community.


Posted by Judith, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I was a patient of Dr. Druker for many years and was sorry for myself and his other patients when he gave up seeing most of us to take on other duties. And while I very much admire and appreciate Dr. Druker's work as CEO, my personal remembrance of him will always be as the wonderful dermatologist, the man with the healing smile.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2010 at 5:32 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation is, along with Stanford hospital and the VA medical center, central to the life benefit of Palo Alto living. Thank you, Dr. Druker, for your skills and your dreams.


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