Tribute to the late Prof Harry Keen CBE MD FRCP

It is with sadness that we share the news of the death of Professor Harry Keen CBE MD FRCP, (5 April 2013)

Harry Keen was Professor of Human Metabolism since 1971 at Guy's Hospital Medical School. In 1990 following his retirement he became Professor Emeritus at Guy’s Hospital Campus of King’s College London School of Medicine.

His clinical and scientific activities in diabetes and its complications, supported by many notable associates, have included major population studies and clinical trials, laboratory studies of tissue and isolated islet metabolism, origination of the category of IGT, first demonstration of microalbuminuria, discovery and development of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, pioneering of Diabetes Centres and leadership of the St Vincent Declaration. He has held office in British (BDA, Diabetes UK, DoH), European (EASD, Euro WHO and IDF) and international (WHO Geneva, IDF) organisations. He is Hon President, IDF, Vice President, Diabetes UK and President, NHS Support Federation and Hon Professor of Medicine, Warwick University Medical School since 2005.

He was a loyal and sustained supporter of FEND and a major influencer in establishing and recognising the role of the diabetes specialist nurse and their key contribution to people with diabetes. He was a member of the teaching faculty of FEND ENDCUP. His advocacy in the cause of diabetes research, education and care is without parallel. His generosity of spirit and humanity was the leitmotif of his life. He championed without fear many causes, particularly in the field of health inequality, social deprivation and civil rights. He was a chief architect in securing the St Vincent Declaration for diabetes over 20 years ago. This declaration was the model for significant other declarations in the field of chronic disease ultimately leading to the UN Resoultion on diabetes in 2006. His retirement did not diminish his commitment. In fact he was as indefatigable as ever and he spoke "truth unto power".

We nurses will miss a true champion and we acknowledge the privilege so many of us had in knowing him and working with him in the NGO world.

"After the final no there comes a yes and on that yes the future world depends". (Wallace Stevens). Harry was of that spirit. May he rest in peace.

Anne-Marie Felton, President FEND and Deirdre Kyne-Grzebalski, Chairman FEND.