In Memory of Phil Jackson
MedCity is saddened to report that Phil Jackson, Head of International and Cluster Development, passed away on Friday 19 March.
Phil was well-known and loved across the sector for his dedication to life sciences innovation, his sense of humour, and his refreshingly honest approach to life. He was integral to the forming of MedCity in 2014 and he has been at the heart of all of our achievements over the years.
Phil was the go-to advisor for UK and overseas companies seeking the right space, partners and investment and he consulted on some of the most important real estate developments in London. Phil’s 2017 study on the demand for life sciences space in London is seen as seminal in the industry and he had started to work on an updated version, which we will take forward in his memory.
Phil is memorable for his key role in our annual missions to BioJapan, leading a UK delegation of industry and universities, to promote the UK’s life sciences sector. By day, he would be heading up the UK pavilion, and by night he’d be bringing everyone together in the local restaurants and karaoke bars. He had a strong connection with Japan, often hosting delegations to forge UK-Japan collaborations, and he was enjoying weekend Japanese lessons to improve his communication skills.
Prior to MedCity, Phil held a range of senior positions within the Canadian healthcare system, serving as the Executive Director of Strategic Support and chief adviser to the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto Health Department.
Before this, Phil had led the development and establishment of the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, a multi-million-dollar Health Protection Agency with 14 laboratories and 600 plus staff, serving as the founding Vice President of Strategy and Planning. Phil served as part of the control team for the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the H1N1 outbreak of 2009. This experience was invaluable when setting up the London Testing Alliance which provided much needed additional capacity for Pillar 2 PCR testing during the pandemic last year.
Phil also worked at the First Nations Health Authority, helping set up state of the art traditional medicine at the Sioux Lookout hospital in the early 2000s. He led a wide range of major health system initiatives in his career including leading the complete re-design of Stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for a population of over 11m people, the implementation of Hospital Report Cards across 134 hospitals, the establishment of 14 Regional Infection Control Networks and multiple other initiatives.
Phil made a huge impact on healthcare across his career, but he was always very modest and reluctant to do any self-promotion. Phil will be sorely missed by the MedCity team and his peers and friends from across the globe.
As a staunch socialist, an anti-racist, and life-long campaigner for social justice, he supported a number of causes, including Stand Up To Racism. Phil’s wife Milena, his two daughters Alexandra and Sophia, and stepson Cuba, have requested for donations to go to this charity, if you wish, instead of sending flowers.
We have also created an online memory page on which you can write a message, memory, or attach photos for his family: https://bit.ly/3lDwpf7