Russell Coile Jr., the author and futurist who became a fixture as a speaker at healthcare conferences across the nation, died Nov. 10 of complications from brain cancer. He had marked his 60th birthday just five days before his death at St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan Texas.
"He lived at 100 miles an hour-I'm going to miss his love of life," said Coile's son, Zachary, 30, from the family's home in Washington, Texas. "He once ran a 100-mile endurance run. It took him 26 hours. He felt after that that he could accomplish anything."
Coile, the editor of the monthly newsletter Russ Coile's Health Trends, had written 10 books and authored dozens of magazine articles on industry trends over the last 15 years, developing a reputation as an astute market forecaster and hospital strategist.
An avid long-distance runner who finished 43 marathons and 17 ultra-marathons, Coile's works include Paperless Hospitals: Healthcare in the Digital Age, and Futurescan, the annual forecast of environmental healthcare sponsored by the American Hospital Association's Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, the American College of Healthcare Executives and Superior Consultant Co.
"I'll always remember his positive energy, his enthusiasm and his optimism about healthcare," said one of his close friends and colleagues, Brett Trusko, a futurist and consultant in Danville, Calif., who was Coile's backup speaker over the last several years. "I think there's going to be a huge void in healthcare."
A provocative and persuasive speaker, Coile participated in more than 75 healthcare-related seminars over the last year, according to his personal Web site, which also notes that his annual "Top 10" predictions in the health field have been accurate about 90% of the time in the past decade. His widely read columns also were published in the Journal of Healthcare Management and Physician Executive magazine.
Coile, past president of the healthcare strategy society and a founding board member of the Association of Professional Futurists, graduated with a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA in health services administration from George Washington University.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumor about seven months ago. After surgery in May, doctors initially were confident that the tumor had been removed. But the fast-moving cancer continued to spread, his son said, leading to complications, including pneumonia, which ultimately caused his death from adult respiratory distress syndrome. Coile had spent most of the last two weeks in the hospital.
"It was a shocker," Trusko said. "He was always such a happy guy. He never let on that they didn't get all of the tumor."