August 22, 1941 – September 27, 2018
David P. Harrington has inducted into the Clinical Engineering Hall of Fame in recognition of his meaningful contributions to the initiation and advancement of the profession. Dr.h.c. Harrington began educating students before the field had even been defined. Until shortly before his death in 2018, he continued to mentor, and write on behalf of the profession. Throughout his long career, he served as a de-facto global ambassador for the profession through his humanitarian work.
- Dr.h.c. Harrington is the recipient of two honorary Doctorate Degrees
Certification, Registration, & Peer Recognition:
- 2005 – AAMI Foundation and ACCE Robert L. Morris Humanitarian Award
- 2008 – ACCE Lifetime Achievement Award
Summary of Career:
Dr.h.c. David "Dave" Harrington was a lifelong Bostonian. While he did not have a formal education, his career as a teacher, mentor, consultant, entrepreneur, and humanitarian influenced clinical engineering and healthcare professionals all over the world.
From 1961 – 1976, Dave designed and developed medical technology for emerging companies in the Northeast. He then discovered his calling as a teacher and mentor. As Director of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Tufts, New England Medical Center, and Principal Instructor for the Biomedical Program at Franklin Institute of Boston, Dave educated generations of technicians, many of whom went on to become leaders in the profession. He also taught at Tufts University, MIT, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. Later in his career, he worked as a consultant with Technology in Medicine and his own consultancy, SBT Technology.
Dave was a prolific writer. He authored over 100 articles and presentations and contributed to several textbooks. Dave served on the editorial boards of Biomedical Instrumentation and Technology, the Journal of Clinical Engineering, and Medical Imaging, and as editor of ACCE News. Dave's perennial column "View From the Penalty Box", in tribute to a professional hockey career cut short by injury, educated and entertained the profession for a generation.
Dave was a founding member and first president of the Medical Device Society of Boston. He was also a founding member of ACCE. He was a visible contributor and/or organizer for many years of the Northeast Symposium on Healthcare Technology, sponsored by the New England Society of Clinical Engineering. For many years, he was the unofficial ambassador to bring prominent clinical engineers from the United States to lecture at the annual Engineering and Physical Sciences in Medicine (EPSM) conference, the premier Australian clinical engineering event.
Dave's humanitarian efforts spanned generations. A recipient of the Robert L. Morris Humanitarian Award (2005), his efforts took him to diverse destinations that included Romania, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Bolivia. Dave developed the biomedical servicing mission in these widely diverse lands. One of his proudest accomplishments was helping to build the cardiac cath lab for Mother Theresa that bears her name in Calcutta, India.
Dave also served as Executive Director of the non-profit American Medical Resource Foundation, directing the refurbishing and distribution of used medical equipment to the developing world. He worked with professionals from the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization to improve the training of engineers and technicians that support healthcare technology around the world.
Below are some extracts from tributes by his peers:
"He was a leader in the clinical engineering community in the Boston area nearly his whole active professional career and for many years after he retired, although Dave never really retired, he just slowed down. Everyone in the clinical engineering community in New England knew and valued a relationship with Dave as he would freely give advice, information and support to any of his colleagues. The really great thing about Dave was that he would do this happily, with enthusiasm and with an interest in seeing you be successful."
"I knew Dave Harrington for many years. He was a visionary, a mentor, and a stalwart of the clinical engineering profession. It still feels like I could run into him again and hear him tell one of his bad jokes… One of the characteristics I admired most was Dave's willingness to listen to and talk to young engineers who were early in their careers. I was one of many who benefited… Everyone knew Dave."
"When Dave saw a need in third world healthcare, he got many of us to contribute to his containers of 'spare or obsolete equipment, manuals and parts' that he used to start an entire new service in medical equipment support that has grown through the years because of the "good seeds" he planted when they had nothing."
"I have known Dave for most of my professional career. It is only in the last few years that I became aware of the tremendous amount of good he has accomplished all over the world; he doesn't talk about it. His accomplishments speak volumes, however. There are few corners of the world that he has not visited to help equip a hospital, teach a class, or implement a technology. He has worked from Bosnia to Zimbabwe, across needy areas on four continents, earning the thanks Mother Theresa, and of hundreds or thousands less well known, who now have better facilities to meet their health needs."
|Dave Harrington receiving the 2005 AAMI/ACCE Robert Morris Humanitarian Award.|