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In Memoriam: William D. Smucker, MD

        The family of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine has lost a dear friend and esteemed colleague, Dr. William “Bill” Smucker, who passed away on January 11 with his family at his side. Dr. Smucker was a long-time friend and supporter of the Society who served on many committees and was frequently a guest lecturer at our Society’s Annual Conference. Dr. Smucker also served as president of OMDA – The Ohio Medical Directors Association and was very influential and an educational leader for the Ohio Chapter. His career was dedicated to clinical excellence in the practice of medicine, but his passion was patient care in PALTC medicine. His practice included 30 years as a long-term care provider in addition to clinical care, and later he served as program director at the Family Practice Residency at Summa Health Systems in Akron, Ohio.
        Those fortunate enough to have worked with Dr. Smucker knew him as a force of nature — his presence and demeanor would fill a room. He was a peerless teacher, gifted leader, and passionate patient advocate whose efforts to drive clinical excellence had an impact on everyone he touched. Bill compiled an impressive portfolio of publications, presentations, grants, and research awards over the past three decades.
        He was a gifted speaker who had a commonsense approach to many of the daily situations that confront us as clinicians. Those who knew him would refer to his “Smuckerisms,” including “The hand that writes the opioid order without a laxative will also be doing the disimpaction,” “They have blood in a bag, but not brain in a box” when discussing complications related to anticoagulation, and “Do not be the first or last one to prescribe a drug or device.”
        Dr. Smucker’s dedication and energy will have a lasting effect on those of us who had the opportunity to learn from and work with him in the Society and in PALTC. He will be deeply missed. His request was for us to gratefully rededicate ourselves to the work of caring for our patients in the devoted and compassionate manner he inspired.
        For those interested in offering a remembrance, consider a donation to Summa Health Foundation Family Medicine Residency Program Directors Endowment Fund at Summa Health Office of the Foundation, 525 E. Market Street, Akron, OH 44304, or Faithful Servants Care Center, 65 Community Road, Suite F, Tallmadge, OH 44278, or Feeding Medina County at www.feedingmedinacounty.org.