NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Humphreys Retires Following Long NLM Career

A smiling Humphreys stands at podium
Betsy Humphreys at her retirement ceremony

Photo:  Daniel Soñé

People in crowd hold high blue signs that read, "thank you"
Guests at the send-off in Kirschstein Auditorium express their sentiments.

Photo:  Daniel Soñé

Betsy Humphreys retired as deputy director of NLM recently after more than 44 years of service. 

In a career that the NLM board of regents termed “one long highlight reel” in a commemorative resolution, Humphreys will be remembered for many contributions, including serving as acting director of NLM (Apr. 1, 2015-Aug. 14, 2016), leading the Unified Medical Language System project, pioneering NLM’s activities related to health data standards and for contributing to the development of NIH and HHS policies on health information technology, public access to research results and clinical trial registration and results reporting.

NLM director Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, a friend and colleague of more than two decades, praised Humphreys’ many achievements, noting in a tribute that “one of your best has been your relationship with NLM staff members, in all divisions and at all levels. You have led, inspired, mentored and modeled behavior for so many and held high such virtues as diversity, inclusion and cooperation.”  

Asked why she stayed at NLM, Humphreys said the answer was simple. 

“A combination of the mission and the great people I get to work with.” Plus, she added, “I’ve never been bored,” pointing out that the library’s work encompasses everything from an 11th century manuscript to the next generation of data science. “It’s been fun!” she proclaimed.

The final section of the board resolution read, “Resolved, that the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine salutes and thanks Ms. Betsy Humphreys for her outstanding public service, unique vision, wisdom, and collaborative spirit for programs, services, systems, and tools, at NLM and beyond, that improved and enhanced research, patient care, and public health.” 

The full text also appeared in The Congressional Record.

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