Summary of his Career
Frank Painter has been an icon and standard-bearer for the clinical engineering profession for 45 years. As an active, practicing clinical engineer, early on Frank recognized need for a professional organization to adequately advocate for clinical engineering. Frank became one of the earliest and most active proponents in the founding of the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE). After its founding, he served as chair of ACCE’s membership for three years before joining ACCE’s board where he served for three years (two as President).
Frank also served for many years on AAMI’s International Certification Commission (ICC) and when that commission elected to terminate its clinical engineering certification, he led the effort to establish the Healthcare Certification Commission (HTCC) under the ACCE Healthcare Technology Foundation (AHTF). Frank went on to serve 6 years as the HTCC chair. Had it not been for Frank’s efforts to form and successfully promote the new commission, clinical engineering certification may have disappeared years ago.
Frank’s volunteer work in promoting clinical engineering has not been limited to the U.S. Since the early 1990’s, he was instrumental in the development of ACCE’s ACEW series and he has worked with WHO and PAHO to deliver dozens of these programs around the world in the ensuing decades. These workshops typically included practicing U.S. clinical engineers who volunteered to spend a week in a foreign location sharing their CE experiences and best practices. Attendance at these workshops by foreign clinical engineers and healthcare leaders would typically be sponsored by their ministries of health and WHO or PAHO. It is hard to adequately describe the immense value these workshops had in promoting international collegial relationships between (and character-building in) the U.S. and foreign engineers and healthcare leaders.
Over the past 20 years, in addition to his volunteer activities and consulting work, Frank has taught and mentored graduate clinical engineering students and interns at the University of Connecticut. While “Clinical Engineering Internship Director” may have been his job title, it does not do justice to the level of dedication and passion Frank brought to his work. A sign of Frank’s success is that any survey of today’s generation of clinical engineering leaders would include a disproportionate number who are graduates of UCONN's internship program.
Given his history and the passion and dedication he has brought to the profession of clinical engineering, it is easy to make a case for Frank Painter’s impact, influence, reach and innovation in our field. Today's CE leadership who he taught and mentored; the clinical engineers who can proudly show their CCE credentials; the foreign healthcare leaders who grew to know, become friends with and collaborate with their American colleagues; and all those who know and have worked with Frank are far better for what he has brought to our profession.
Below are some quotations from the materials supporting his nomination
“My first encounter with Frank was in 1989 when I was a biomedical/clinical engineering student in the Connecticut clinical engineering internship program headed by Dr. Joseph Bronzino. Frank was one of the clinical engineering managers who provided some practical guidance to the students. Fast forward 30+ years and now Frank has led that internship program at the University of Connecticut for twenty years. Moreover, he was one of the leaders of the clinical engineering certification program showing his commitment to the professionalization of clinical engineering. He provided stability during a particularly difficult time of transitioning the clinical engineering certification program from the Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) to the Healthcare Technology Certification Commission (HTCC).
Frank has been a mentor to me with regard to ‘giving back’ to those in the profession and inspiring young people to become clinical engineers. I would not have become involved in the certification commission or as a faculty member of the UCONN clinical engineering program without Frank’s recommendations and requests. We have had many philosophical discussions about the profession and where it needs to go and I have appreciated his knowledge, experience and passion for the profession. Not only is he willing to discuss it, he acts on it. This is evident in his participation in many professional organizations at leadership levels that have both direct and tangential impacts on the clinical engineering profession.”
“Frank’s most influential contributions have been his pioneering early work in certification and his efforts in teaching several new generations of clinical engineers. His graduates from UCONN will undoubtably form the core of the future of the profession. In this way, he has had and is still having an extremely significant influence on the evolution of the profession.”
“It has been a great honor and a privilege to know and work with Professor Painter for almost two decades. I have always been impressed with Frank’s passion and dedication to the clinical engineering profession, clinical engineering certification and education.”
“Throughout his career, Frank has always held himself to the highest professional standards and expected the same from those he worked with. Frank has passion for clinical engineering that I have not seen matched in my 40 years in the profession.”
“In the late 1990s, when AAMI determined to end the certification of clinical engineers, it literally dealt a severe blow to the profession. While many of us were concerned, one person (Frank Painter) stood up and said, in effect: “this cannot stand”. It was Frank we rallied around and who drove the movement to establish the new certification…”
“Frank has dedicated most of his professional life to the field of clinical engineering, where over the past 40 years he has become a well-known expert. Many clinical engineers and health technology managers in the US and around the world look to him for his outstanding teaching and mentoring. The influence and impact of Frank’s work has set an example for professionals in the field of healthcare technology, both in the academic side and in the operational side of the day-to-day operations in health care facilities. Frank has also been a key player in clinical engineering certification and health technology certification programs in countries all over the world.
The impact of Frank’s work is far reaching and has influenced health authorities and professionals around the world, professionals who have become leaders and decision makers in the field of health technology. For example, Frank’s participation in the academic sector has facilitated the organization and orientation of biomedical and clinical engineering programs in several universities, mainly in Latin America and the Middle East. Also, he has facilitated the participation of international students in the Clinical Engineering Internship Program at the University of Connecticut.”