Honoring the life and work of Dr. Claire Loe
The Task Force for Global Health and the Public Health Informatics Institute mourn the passing of Dr. Claire Loe, friend, artist and lifelong health advocate.
Throughout her 25-year career in public health, Claire strived to improve the lives and health of others, whether through health education, training or information systems. Her work focused on bridging health equity gaps, particularly for groups vulnerable due to low literacy or language barriers. Her passion for expanding accessibility drove her work, from managing reproductive health education for African-American and Hispanic children at the CDC, to founding Sage Words, a nonprofit dedicated to providing culturally appropriate health education materials to underserved groups.
Since coming to PHII in July 2015, Claire continued to apply her expertise to projects that improve the public’s health. Her work was instrumental to the Task Force for Global Health winning the 2016 Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Claire’s field experience and academic training were crucial in establishing new evaluation techniques used by PHII to assess the impact of its technical guidance and training material. She directed PHII’s efforts on electronic case reporting of infectious disease and led case studies of informatics innovations conducted by partners in local public health agencies.
“Claire's contributions will benefit PHII and the field of informatics for many years to come,” says Jim Jellison, Interim Director of Practice Support and Claire’s supervisor. “Her expertise in evaluations and qualitative analysis led to huge improvements in PHII's work. I and others here learned so much from her during our time together. It's extremely saddening to think about what her absence means for PHII and public health. I have to believe that remembrance of her passion for health equity and social justice will help us regroup and carry on with our mission.”
“We don’t always remember the peacemakers among us…I think it’s important to have a reminder of the nonviolent ways of contributing to a better world.”
- Dr. Claire Loe
In addition to her storied public health career, Claire was an accomplished artist. Her colleagues and neighbors knew her by her colorful car, a Toyota Prius that she hand-painted with tributes to some of the great pioneering women of history. When asked about her reasons for honoring legendary women like Arundhati Roy and Harriet Tubman, Claire responded, “We don’t always remember the peacemakers among us…I think it’s important to have a reminder of the nonviolent ways of contributing to a better world.”
PHII and the public health community will remember Claire as just such a peaceful contributor. Throughout her life, she dedicated her time and her ingenuity to the wellbeing of others and never ceased in her efforts to improve the world for those around her. Her social conscience, passion and creativity will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to work with her.
A celebration of Claire's life took place Saturday, December 10, in Houston, Texas. Read the eulogy delivered by Task Force for Global Health president Dave Ross.
Author's note: In February 2017, PHII established the Claire Loe Memorial Library, a lending library for staff, in Claire's honor.