The Brigham community mourns the loss of Patricia Reaser (Yetman), senior administrative director for the Division of Renal Medicine and the Division of Engineering in Medicine (EIM), who died of cancer on Aug. 26. She was 58.
A member of the Brigham community for 33 years, Ms. Reaser assumed her most recent role in 2007. Earlier in her career, she served in various administrative leadership roles in the Division of Aging, the Division of Preventive Medicine, the Venous Thromboembolism Research Group and the Joint Program in Nephrology.
Widely respected for her ability to solve seemingly any problem and beloved for her caring and kind spirit, Ms. Reaser was remembered by colleagues for the personalized, heartfelt approach that defined her every interaction.
“Patricia brought vast personal and institutional knowledge to everything she touched, and she possessed an uncommon intuition that made her extraordinarily effective. Top of mind for her, always, were the people at the heart of every objective,” said Joseph Bonventre, MD, PhD, chief of Renal Medicine and Engineering in Medicine.
“Patricia tirelessly advocated on behalf of physicians and scientists in her divisions to make their work more impactful, and she was never too busy to turn a challenge into an opportunity to help a colleague cultivate a new skill or inject a kind word or witticism into her day-to-day interactions,” Bonventre added. “Truly, she embodied everything that makes Brigham and Women’s Hospital exceptional.”
Kevin Giordano, MBA, FACHE, senior vice president of Clinical Services, described Ms. Reaser as a “thoughtful, balanced and measured leader” who possessed an astounding work ethic and passion for the institution’s mission.
“I remember sitting with her for many one-on-one meetings, and while we only had a few agenda items, we would regularly take the full time. She was always a rational bellwether for new ideas, and she was a wonderful sounding board for me, personally,” Giordano said.
Ms. Reaser forged trusting relationships with her team, enthusiastically giving her time and support to help anyone in need, said Kerry Conway, MPA, grants administrator for Renal Medicine and Engineering in Medicine.
“She was an amazing leader and mentor. She trusted her staff implicitly, which helped immensely to build their confidence in their own abilities,” Conway said. “Despite the fact that she had an incredibly demanding job, she always took the time to sit with staff one on one and explain something they were having trouble with or teach them a new skill. She handled every problem that came up calmly and gracefully — setting a tone for everyone to aspire to.”
Julian Seifter, MD, a senior nephrologist in Renal Medicine, also remembered Ms. Reaser as a leader who deeply cared for her colleagues’ personal and professional well-being and growth.
“Patricia was, above all, our friend. She enjoyed hearing about all aspects of our lives and our clinical, research and educational careers,” he said. “One had the feeling that the division was in the best of hands. Patricia had an intuitive sense of what you might need and had her hand on the pulse of the entire institution. Her steadiness, calmness, kindness, thoughtfulness and depth enriched all of our lives.”
Ms. Reaser’s warm and generous heart was not limited to work-related matters. Several staff fondly remembered how each December she would distribute scores of gift boxes filled with homemade baked goods — including cookies, brownies and other treats — to colleagues.
“Around the holidays, despite being enormously busy, Patricia always made individual gift boxes of homemade treats for all the staff that were not only delicious but looked like they’d been made by a professional baker,” said Michele Sobel Ramos, senior administrative assistant for the two divisions’ chief. “When one colleague who was diabetic was working with us, Patricia made her a special box of sugar-free, homemade treats. I think a lot of us saw it as quintessentially Patricia — meticulous, considerate, generous, tasteful, well-executed and superhuman time-management skills.”
Ms. Reaser is survived by her husband, Robert Yetman, her mother, brother, nieces and nephew, as well as many extended family members, friends and loved ones.