In Memory

Jim Wiggins Tribute

posted on 10:00 AM, October 16, 2015

Jim Wiggins 1953-2015

ACMT Education Coordinator

Jim Wiggins died on October 14, 2015 after a brief illness. He leaves behind his sister Juanita and his mother Shirley, both of Mobile AL.

Jim grew up in Alabama receiving his BA in Anthropology from the University of Alabama, and a MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. He subsequently obtained a MPH in Global Public Health from the University of Arizona. After a four-year business sojourn in Russia during the early post-Soviet 1990s, Jim moved to Washington, DC where for five years he worked at the Global Health Council in the Policy, Advocacy and Research Division as Director of Forums and Special Events. He traveled extensively while doing advance work in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean region as logistics manager for Congressional Study Tours sponsored by the Global Health Council. Subsequently, he returned to the northern Sonoran Desert region of Arizona and settled in Tucson.

Jim joined ACMT in December 2009 as ACMT’s first full-time Educational Coordinator and singlehandedly managed the growing number of ACMT educational activities, which included the ACMT Annual Scientific Meeting in 2010 -2015, the Board Review Course in 2010 -2014, and the Forensic Courses in 2010 (twice), 2011 and 2013. Jim was also responsible for supporting a numerous other courses and webinars including the Chemical Agents of Opportunity and the Illicit Production of Methamphetamine courses. He spearheaded the website content development related to live conferences, including the online syllabi, and managed CME administration to maintain compliance with ACCME guidelines. Jim worked with dozens of ACMT members and ACMT leaders on a regular basis supporting their efforts in teaching medical toxicology on a national stage.

Most of you will remember Jim as the man behind the curtain at every ACMT-related conference you attended. He could be seen working the computer, carrying boxes, talking to the hotel administration, or helping you find your way between committee meetings. He was at the conference when you arrived in the morning, and was there when you left after the last session.

According to Jim’s profile on Linked-in his most memorable project was providing “advance planning on trips for US Congressional staff study tours to Cambodia, Haiti, India and South Africa and having the opportunity to meet health professionals providing care on the front lines of poverty.” He stated that his most enjoyable project was “Conceptualizing and successfully producing a fundraising event with 88 Miss Universe contestants on behalf of an AIDS service organization in Thailand.” Jim mastered web-based educational delivery and was instrumental in moving ACMT education from a paper-based educational delivery to web-based presentations.

Over the past year as the ACMT staff grew substantially, Jim’s guiding presence provided much seasoned leadership to our growing organization. He led by example, working tirelessly for ACMT and its members, often working 60- and 70-hour weeks to prepare for ACMT conferences. He was always a pleasure to work with and we admired him for his compassion and commitment. We are all in shock at Jim’s sudden and very premature death. He will be greatly missed.

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