It is another difficult day for us in clinical toxicology. Within a short period of time, we have lost two long-time AACT members. First Edward Bottei, and just last Wednesday night, I heard about the passing of Steve Seifert. Most importantly, our condolences go out to their families and friends.
Ed had been the Medical Director of the West Virginia Poison Center, and Iowa Poison Center since 2002. His annual contribution to NACCT was interrupted by COVID-19, but many loved his Toxicology Jeopardy lecture. He was planning to present his lecture again at NACCT 2022, before his sudden death at the end of April. Ed was a compassionate clinician and educator. He dedicated his life to improving the lives of others on a professional and personal level. His presence will be missed.
Steve Seifert was the Medical Director of the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center, and before that, the Medical Director of the Nebraska Poison Center. As the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Clinical Toxicology, Steve achieved one of the highest honors of an AACT member. Steve had international recognition because of the collaboration between AACT, AAPCC, EAPCCT and APAMT as the societies of Clinical Toxicology. His leadership and mentorship has, and will continue to influence our practice of clinical toxicology for years to come.
Undoubtedly, Steve’s academic passion was venom. His professional career was an odyssey between Arizona, Nebraska and New Mexico. In all of those locations, he was an active researcher of the clinical effects and treatment of Crotalinae envenomation. The results of his research are components of how we approach the management of these patients. His efforts were also essential to the creation of Venom Week, which brings together venom researchers from around the globe. His final treatise was his review on Snake Envenomation in the New England Journal of Medicine, earlier this year.
At this time, there are plans for a service in late June. We will continue to update you as more information becomes known. His family is more interested in honoring him, rather than donations or gifts.
It has been our honor and privilege to know and work with these two clinical toxicologists. Their lives are examples of how we should live and act. We should show our gratitude and respect by carrying the torch they lit, in pursuit of teaching, research and service excellence.
Kirk Cumpston, DO
I unfortunately never had the opportunity to get to know Ed well, but I respect greatly his work on behalf of the Academy and to his many contributions to clinical toxicology. I send my condolences to his family.
I have known and deeply respected the life and work of Steve Seifert. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago regarding an overdue review of a paper submitted to Clin Tox. In his usual affable tone, he accepted my apologies and the late review. Steve will always have a little warm place in my heart for his clinical acumen. He recognized in me a number of years ago something of which I was essentially oblivious – that I have Parkinson Disease. He encouraged me to reach out to a neurologist and played, I believe, a part of slowing its progression. Steve was always the ultimate “snake guy,” and I reached out to him on numerous occasions on handling particularly difficult bite cases to reassure myself I was doing the right thing. He was generous and good, sadly somewhat rare characteristics these days. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the good people of the New Mexico Poison Center.
The shock of the death of these two young toxicologists has not completely sunk in. I enjoyed many moments with both of them, in person and remotely. They will be missed.
The deaths of Ed Bottei and Steve Seifert, both affable poison center directors at the peaks of their careers, is surprising and tragic. I wish my sincere condolences to their families and poison centers.
Perhaps AACT can recognize and honor each of them at NACCT.
I am deeply saddened by such a tragic loss for the families, friends, and colleagues of Ed and Steve, and the toxicology world in general. I fondly remember Ed’s outspokenness at the medical directors meetings and casual banter with him at NACCT every year. Steve and I worked closely together at “neighboring” poison centers and at the journal. He always had my back when in need. They will be dearly missed.
I am late to the game on this, but have not logged into the site for a little while. I knew both men and, while I am grateful that I did, their loss is so sad.
Ed was such an amazing person. He did his fellowship in Cincinnati after I did and I was fortunate to keep up with him throughout his career. He was such a kind, smart, yet humble person. He had a great smile. I remember when he got married, he was overjoyed, particularly with his role as a stepfather. In addition to all he did for toxicology in Iowa, he was also a volunteer outside of his profession. He had a sarcastic, wry wit and I will miss him terribly.
Steve was another gentleman who I didn’t know as well but certainly knew of. He was originally from Cincinnati and I have a friend who grew up across the street from him. He commented on what a great guy Steve was even as a child and what a great family he had.
While I am grateful for every birthday I am given, as they add up I know that we will lose more of these incredible people. But we can keep their spirits alive by sharing what we learned from them with those who walk behind us.
“We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things are more distant than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature, add to ours.” —John of Salisbury