In Memoriam: Philip Schneider

October 13, 2021

Categories: AAMI News, Sterilization Professionals

Photo portrait of Philip Schneider

AAMI mourns the passing of Philip Schneider, a leader, mentor, and friend to many within the sterilization community.

Having worked as a Senior Specialist of Sterilization Products for 3M and consultant for Leximed, Schneider shared his expertise and knowledge with the wider sterilization community as an AAMI standards developer and board member for the International Organization for Standardization.

“Phil significantly contributed to the field of sterilization science and practices in many ways throughout his career. He traveled the globe as an educator, expert advisor and consultant that impacted many facilities and organizations to improve procedures and practices,” said Janet Prust, Chair-elect of AAMI’s Board of Directors and Global Standards Director at 3M.  “In his standards work he was a recognized leader even beyond his co-chair and convenor roles. I’ve heard ‘let’s check with Phil’ many times over the years. Perhaps most importantly though, he was a great mentor. He was always technically accurate, insightful, and inclusive. He was a model collaborator, a mediator and approachable all wrapped up with an unusually quick and keen wit.  At nearly every encounter one could expect a really great line from Phil that brought a smile. He has left a legacy as a respected role model for many—including me personally—that lives on even now that he is gone.”

Schneider provided expertise and leadership to AAMI’s national sterilization standards program, the US TAG to ISO/TC 198 and co-chaired AAMI’s standardization working group on EO sterilization hospital practices. He also made significant contributions in the development of international standards for biological indicators and was a long-time convenor of ISO/TC 198/WG 4, biological indicators (BI).

“Phil Schneider was incredibly well respected by his colleagues in the sterilization standards community and AAMI staff,” added Amanda Benedict, vice president of Standards, AAMI. “We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing and express our condolences to his family.”

“His knowledge was second to none about sterilization,” added Stephen Kovach, Clinical Education Emeritus at Healthmark Industries. “He taught me how to work with everybody, and still keep my wits; I will always be thankful for that.”

“I’ll never forget those nights he convened the world’s BI experts around a table at the White Tiger bar and the Chime-Long Resort outside of Guangzhou, while we all rode out a typhoon,” added Joe Lewelling, Senior Advisor on Content & Strategy, AAMI. “With Phil as our leader, we solved the world’s problems while enjoying a beer!”

Ralph Basile, vice president at Healthmark and member of the AAMI Foundation’s Board of Directors remembers Phil not only in his role as a sterilization leader, but also as a personality that could light up a room.

“I got to know Phil through professional associations and business dealings. But of course, what I so much enjoyed about Phil was his quick wit and whimsical humor,” he wrote on a tribute wall dedicated to Schneider.

Others remember Schneider as devoted family man, coach, and friend with a contagious sense of humor, and love for beer, golf, and practical jokes. Friends and colleagues can share a memory of Schneider on his tribute wall: