Monday, November 09, 2009

PACS Loses One Of Its Own

I noted a significant spike in blog traffic this morning related to Sectra and sadly there was a tragic reason behind it. PACS has lost a true gentleman, Dr. John Goble, head of Sectra's North American operations. From the Sectra press release:
Shelton, CT – November 9, 2009 – Dr. John Goble, President of Sectra’s North American medical business was tragically killed in a helicopter accident in the vicinity of Adelanto Airport, CA, USA. Dr Goble, age 58, had led Sectra’s medical operations in the US since 1997.

”This is very sad news for all of us at Sectra. John Goble has been a strong and committed leader of our North American business for the past 12 years. John was a great person to work with, a close friend, as well as a very competent colleague, but most of all he was a loving husband, brother and son. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends in this moment”, says Dr Torbj√∂rn Kronander, President of Sectra Medical Systems.

Sectra has appointed Tom Giordano, as acting President of Sectra North America. Tom Giordano, former Vice President, Marketing of Philips North America, has worked in executive positions at Philips Medical Systems since 1977. Since 2005 Tom Giordano has been a Sectra North America board member and management consultant and has a deep understanding of Sectra North America’s business and operations.

“In the midst of these very sad circumstances, we are grateful for having with us such an experienced leader and medical imaging professional as Tom Giordano. We will continue to serve our North American customers with the same commitment to excellence, under Tom’s leadership,” Torbj√∂rn Kronander adds.
One of Dr. Goble's loves was flying a vintage helicopter, according to the LA Times:

A 1951 military helicopter that crashed and killed all three men aboard it Saturday was headed to an aircraft-and-classic car show honoring U.S. veterans at the Flabob Airport in Riverside, the event's director said.

The twin-rotor Piasecki PV-18 helicopter had been booked to appear as a non-flying display through Classic Rotors, a rare and vintage rotorcraft museum in Ramona, show director Jon Goldenbaum said Sunday.

The museum was closed Sunday night and a message left on it answering machine was not immediately returned.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the vintage helicopter struck power lines shortly after taking off from Adelanto Airport about 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

I had met Dr. Goble only once, whilst visting the Sectra RSNA booth with Mike Cannavo. Dr. Goble impressed me as someone more of us in the business could emulate. Perhaps you recall how he handled Sectra being dumped as Philips' PACS product in favor of Stentor, as sent to AuntMinnie, and lifted for my blog:

Sectra has been in the US for nearly ten years, and we have a superb service and support team. In addition to Philips Medical Systems, we provide Level II support for our other partners, selected dealers and comprehensive support for our direct sales.

Our PACS products for the Orthopedics and Mammography markets are extremely well received by the US market. While Philips' acquisition of Stentor will undeniably impact our revenue in the short term, we intend to aggressively bid for service on our products and continue to protect the investment of customers who have purchased Sectra PACS... whether under the Philips label or directly from us.

Sectra will continue to innovate and bring industry leading products to market in the US. If you have questions about support for your system, extensions to your Sectra PACS or have a new opportunity, we'd be happy to talk with you.

John Goble, Ph.D., President, Sectra North America, Inc. Call us at 800.--------.

Many would have bemoaned the apparent betrayal, but Dr. Goble went on doing what he did best, taking care of his customers.

He will be missed.

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