In Memoriam - J. Hurley Myers, PhD

With deep sadness, DxR Development Group, Inc. announces the death of our beloved co-founder, CEO, mentor, and friend, J. Hurley Myers, PhD. Dr. Myers passed away Thursday, April 23, 2020 at his home, surrounded by his family. He was 79.

Dr. Myers — a physiologist and charter faculty member at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine — co-founded DxR Development Group, Inc. in 1992, along with School of Medicine colleague Dr. Kevin Dorsey and software engineer, Eldon Benz. DxR’s flagship product, DxR Clinician, was born of Dr. Myers’ vision of coupling problem-based learning tools, delivered through software, to allow medical students to practice the clinical encounter and reason through patient problems virtually. The resulting record of student decisions was the key to providing faculty members insight into each student’s clinical reasoning and problem-solving process. Hurley referred to it as ‘getting inside the student’s head,’ and to him, it was instructional gold.

Dr. Myers’ educational expertise and passion for teaching resonated with faculty members, while his entrepreneurial vision caught the attention of large corporations (Ciba-Geigy, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, The Chauncey Group, ETS, and Sanofi Pharmaceuticals) that would collaborate with DxR Development on a wide array of educational software projects. He was famous for envisioning and promising innovation, then challenging his staff to ‘make it happen,’ often on a tight schedule and budget. Hurley’s high standards and belief in his staff pushed them to create new ways of meeting what seemed at times like impossible challenges. Hurley always credited his staff for rising to the occasion, time after time.

Dr. Myers led his company into new markets, developing and expanding its in-house product list to include programs for training nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, and chiropractors across the globe. DxR products have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and are used widely in training healthcare profession students in numerous countries. Dr. Myers forged connections in Asia that led to DxR’s partnership with Chun Shin Limited (based in Taiwan) and DxR Asia Pacific (based in Hong Kong).

Dr. Myers was often honored for both his academic credentials and his service to others. He was recognized as a master teacher, researcher, and author, writing dozens of articles and book chapters related to experimental hypertension, coronary heart disease, vascular smooth muscle function, and health promotion. He also served as president of the Illinois Affiliate of the American Heart Association and as a national board member for the AHA. In honor of his volunteer service in the development of AHA’s educational and community programs, Dr. Myers was awarded the American Heart’s prestigious Award of Merit. In 2019, Dr. Myers was honored by the Sino-Phil Asian International Peace Prize Foundation for his contributions to medical education.

One of Dr. Myers’ greatest gifts was his ability to mentor others. He invested in and nurtured a management team committed to leading DxR Development Group in this time of transition. DxR Development and its staff remain committed to honoring his legacy of excellence, integrity, and thoughtful service to the company’s academic, business, and non-profit clients and customers. Hurley’s staff is still motivated to make him proud.

Dr. Myers is survived by his wife Brenda, their children, Patrick Myers and Dana (Eric) Oberg, and five grandchildren who brought him great joy. Hurley was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale. A memorial service will be held at a later date.