Loeb started at the Joint Commission in 1994, and his efforts were recognized with an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award, which was included with the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards given out jointly in 2012 by the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum.
“His work has resulted in thousands of hospitals and healthcare organizations realizing the importance of accurate, focused performance measurement in driving quality improvement, paving the way for federal performance measurement requirements that continue to be rolled out today,” a news release announcing the award said.
Loeb, who earned a Ph.D. in cardiovascular physiology from the State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, was assistant vice president for science, technology and public health at the American Medical Association prior to his work at the Joint Commission.
“He was an extraordinary person and impassioned about everything he did,” O'Leary said, adding that, while Loeb could be described as “fun loving,” he could also be “all business.”
“If something needed to be done by a certain time, it was done at a certain time,” O'Leary said.
O'Leary also praised Loeb for building a tight-knit department at the Joint Commission that adhered to his high standards for ensuring that measures were meaningful, accurate and “measured what they were supposed to measure.”
About nine months after Loeb was diagnosed with cancer, O'Leary recalled seeing him in the Netherlands during a meeting for the Joint Commission International's High 5s Project, which is addressing worldwide patient-safety concerns.
“I was impressed with his won't-quit attitude and his belief that he could beat this,” O'Leary said.
While fighting the disease, O'Leary said Loeb became an advocate for patient-centered care and spoke about it across the country, as well as internationally. “For him, it was a matter of turning lemons into lemonade,” O'Leary said.
Loeb had hoped to participate in Chicago's SEA (Support Educate Advocate) Blue Ribbon prostate cancer walk/run this past Sept. 15, and was unable to do so. But friends and family participated and have raised almost $2,700 to help the cause of raising prostate cancer awareness.
He is survived by his wife Sherri and two daughters, Jennifer and Rebecca.
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks