Morton P. Hyman, a renowned philanthropic and public health leader and Chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute Board of Trustees, passed away peacefully yesterday surrounded by his family and loved ones. The following is a statement from Sabin’s CEO, Ambassador Michael W. Marine, reflecting on the profound difference that Mort made during his lifetime.

During the past seven years, Mort played a pivotal role in guiding Sabin through a period of tremendous change. He was a hands-on steward whose passion for Sabin’s mission was demonstrated by the level of personal involvement he played in the evolution of the Institute’s key programs and our expansion with new key partners at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas and internationally to Europe through the creation of our sister organization, Sabin Foundation Europe, where Mort also served as Chairman.

Beyond Mort’s deep commitment to Sabin, he was a renowned philanthropic and public health leader. Appointed to various state-level health initiatives by New York Governors Nelson Rockefeller, Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo, he championed some of the most important social issues of our day, including smoking bans in public places, nursing home regulation, Medicaid reimbursement, and access to care for AIDS patients and for the poor. Mort served as Chairman of the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York for 22 years, during which time the Medical Center greatly expanded its services. Mort also led the formation of Continuum Heath Partners, one of the largest voluntary hospital systems in the United States.

We send our thoughts and prayers to Mort’s family and join a wide circle of others in the public health community in mourning his untimely death, which will leave a huge void. His leadership, astute counsel and love for Sabin will be sorely missed.