Harvey Picker (December 8, 1915 – March 22, 2008) was an American businessman, educator, inventor, and philanthropist. He was the founder, along with his wife, Jean, of the Boston-based Picker Institute, whose goal was to promote patient-centered healthcare.
Picker’s father, James, founded Picker X-ray, which was acquired by General Electric Co. Ltd. of England in 1981, which produced air-dropped X-ray labs for the Army in World War II and the Korean War. The younger Harvey led the company into such pioneering fields as cobalt treatment for cancer and ultrasound and nuclear imaging diagnostics. He remained with the company from 1946-1968.
At age 50, Picker sold the family business and earned his doctorate. He worked briefly in the diplomatic service, taught political science at Colgate University. Between 1972-1983 he served as dean of Columbia University‘s School of International and Public Affairs.
Dr. and Mrs. Picker believed that the American health care system was technologically and scientifically outstanding, but overall was not sensitive to patients’ concerns and their comfort. Thus, in 1986, they founded the Picker Institute — a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing a patient-centered approach to healthcare — and in 2000 founded the Picker Institute Europe.
Jean Picker, who died in 1990, served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations and was a journalist for Life Magazine.
The Picker Institute ceased operations in January 2013.
- staff (15 January 2014). “Picker Institute ceases operations after three decades”. penbaypilot.com. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Listing from Picker Institute’s Website
- 1995 Article from Columbia University Record
- 2006 Article from The Times On-Line
- 2006 Article from Colgate University News
- Article from the Colgate Scene On-Line
- Obituary: New York Times
I worked for Picker Xray briefly, before the “acquisition”. As in many industries, in medical imaging the competition was daunting, and the field of competition shrank rapidly due to mergers and acquisitions. In the radiology division of a large hospital, each manufacturer’s equipment had a different color. All were off-white, but one was slightly blue, another had a pink cast to it. Picker equipment, as I remember, was pale green. Maybe GE (the American company) was pink, Philips blue, and I believe there were others. I was not familiar with the Picker name as a newby, and I have always been one to ask lots of questions. What I heard from innumerable radiologists was always, “Picker is the best,” “Picker is the Cadillac…” “Picker is the Rolls-Royce of xray equipment.” Being not totally new to technology companies, I asked my boss, who had worked for Picker for some time, “Why have I never heard of this company?” He said that Picker was well-known within the industry for being state-of-the-art, best-maintained. That the company put very little money into publicity, depending on their reputation to take care of sales, and applied that money instead to research & development, as well as safety, which was where I came in. As time went on, I learned that they also took VERY good care of their permanent personnel. When the end came, we were told that there were TWO transactions which took place: there was a merger of two companies, and separately there was an acquisition, possibly not in that order. We were told that at the top of the heap was GE of the UK (or Great Britain), which I was told, stood for “General Electronics”, rather than General Electric, as the very different American company is known.
All of this is based completely on my memory, which, even IF totally accurate, would certainly be Original Research: I have no other sources, whatsoever.
The question I have is about the WWII airdropped labs. This is the first I have heard of it. I do not doubt that it was done, but, clarify, please, by Picker, or by GE of GB?
I had hoped to find an article on the Picker Xray Company. I would create a stub, myself, had I even minimal sources. I have none. James Picker, as I remember, was a pharmacist who expanded his business into pharmaceutical supplies, and eventually included the very new realm of xray equipment, supplies and technology. Not exactly the Horatio Alger story, but certainly the American Dream. In the process, he provided his son sufficient education to do quite well himself, and in turn, to give back. In the past I have created such stubs. I believe they have all been deleted. There is a need, within this project, I admit, for deletionists. I am not one. Rags (talk) 13:06, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Hi you have some more information maybe? I researched at moment about the history of our family…maybe it is helpful to improve the article? I also save a copy of this on my blog before someone deleting it… — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michelpicker (talk • contribs) 14:58, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
We should not delete the site: you can watch my ancestry for more information and sources; also we have a website here: http://prabook.com/web/person-view.html?profileId=759033 I also try to find more information btw. But it need time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michelpicker (talk • contribs) 15:01, 2 January 2017 (UTC)