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The Passing of Reed M. Gardner

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Reed M. Gardner, a noted national leader in the field of biomedical informatics and Emeritus Professor and previous Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) at University of Utah.

Dr. Gardner had deep ties to University of Utah and our state. He earned two degrees from the U, a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 1960, and a PhD in Biophysics and Bioengineering in 1968. His primary academic and research interests were broad and groundbreaking, including hospital informatics systems, computerized medical decision-making, computerization of critical care, automation of clinical processes, medical informatics education, and public health informatics. He went on to be one of the principal developers and evaluators of the medical expert system known as HELP (Health Evaluation through Logical Processing) and served as co-director of medical computing at LDS, Cottonwood, and Alta View Hospitals in Salt Lake City.

We were all fortunate to learn from Dr. Gardner, who was a sought-after visiting professor at leading academic medical centers across the county, and a frequent presenter and panel expert at many national meetings. Dr. Lussier, professor at University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and incoming chair of our DBMI, credits Dr. Gardner and other DBMI scientists and clinicians for shaping and inspiring his career and those of many others. He notes that Dr. Gardner influenced and helped to build the nation’s EHR interoperability policies. He was known for his substantial expertise, enthusiasm, and communication skills.

In 2005, the annual U of U Health’s Reed M. Gardner Award for Faculty Excellence was established to acknowledge the contributions of faculty members to the DBMI and Nursing Informatics. The award was created by students to acknowledge the achievements of faculty members in the areas of teaching, mentoring, and service to the departments. This award will continue to stand as a testament to Dr. Gardner’s dedication and contributions to University of Utah Health.

Dr. Gardner will be sorely missed. His legacy in helping to expand the impact of the nation’s first department of biomedical informatics and innovate in the field will continue to live on. We will build on and advance his legacy here at University of Utah Health to improve the delivery of health care for all.


Michael L. Good, MD
CEO, University of Utah Health
Dean, University of Utah School of Medicine
A. Lorris Betz Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Karen Eilbeck, MSc, PhD
Interim Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine

Yves A. Lussier, MD, FACMI
Incoming Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine