Dec. 24, 2021 Kristy Hammam was WebMD’s senior vice president and editor-in-chief. She died from breast cancer. She was 50 old.
Kristy resigned from a 22-year career at WebMD in June 2021, after losing much of her eyesight as a result of treatments in her fight against triple-negative breast cancer. In a WebMD . feature story, she shared her diagnosis and the experiences of being a patient.
In the story, she discussed the challenges of navigating the U.S. healthcare system while battling cancer. She also talked about her desire to create a non-profit to assist other patients who have less support than she had.
Kristy helped to create the annual Health Heroes Awards, which WebMD uses to recognize outstanding individuals in medicine and health. Health Heroes is a forum that brings together the best in the industry, including cancer survivors, researchers who have made a difference, and young people who want to make a difference in medicine and health.
Kristy began her career as a writer and copy editor at CNN before joining the medical news service Greenberg News Networks, where she produced a daily broadcast for Medcast. In the end, she was promoted to head programming. Greenberg was purchased by Healtheon, WebMD and she continued her growth with the company, eventually becoming its editorial director. She is responsible for most of the operations at WebMD’s Atlanta office.
Kristy was highly respected by her colleagues because of the skills and personal qualities she brought to her job. Her kindness, grace, compassion, and ability to make everyone feel important were all things that made her a favorite. She also was known for listening respectfully and looking out for views that might have been different than hers during meetings. She encouraged people to take chances and was always the first to recognize colleagues’ personal and professional successes.
” Her door was always open”, said Mary Cooper, Kristy’s former executive secretary. “She always had time for someone else.”
Mary remembers that Kristy asked her to speak in a company meeting, and she demurred, telling her boss she was shy.