April 05, 2016

UAB to establish endowed chair in nephrology in honor of Edwin Rutsky

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edwin rutskyA gift from Dialysis Clinic, Inc., in honor of a longtime professor of nephrology will be used to fund the DCI Edwin A. Rutsky, M.D., Distinguished Endowed Chair in Nephrology in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, pending approval by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.

The gift was inspired by the academic medical career of Rutsky, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at UAB.

“Providing funding for academic physicians to focus on activities that advance our understanding of nephrology, such as conducting cutting-edge research and training nephrology fellows to become highly-qualified kidney specialists, ultimately benefits all patients with kidney disease,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., executive vice dean for the UAB School of Medicine and director of the UAB Division of Nephrology. “We greatly appreciate DCI’s generosity in establishing this endowed chair.”

Rutsky’s passion for helping patients with kidney disease began in the 1970’s. Over the course of 45 years, he focused his medical career on the delivery of hemodialysis, a lifesaving procedure in which the toxins are filtered from the body when the kidneys can no longer function.

“Dr. Rutsky is most deserving of this honor. Since I began my work with him, his compassion for patients and their care was always, and still is, his top concern,” said Fred Steading, DCI administrator for the Birmingham area.

While Rutsky is celebrated for his extraordinary patient care and his landmark research, perhaps his greatest legacy is the mentorship he provided to more than 100 fellows in the University’s nephrology training program. Many of these physicians continue to seek his advice long after their training is complete.

Azita Takeshian, M.D., a former UAB nephrology fellow and current medical director for DCI in Birmingham, is elated that the endowment will pay homage to her mentor.

“Dr. Rutsky epitomizes the ultimate physician—clinical excellence enveloped in caring, compassion, and attention to detail,” Takeshian said.

DCI is the nation’s largest nonprofit dialysis provider, operating more than 230 dialysis clinics with 5,000 employees. Since inception in 1971, DCI has provided over $200 million dollars to support research, education and development that can improve treatment options for patients with kidney disease.

“I am deeply humbled by this generous gift. I have always had great respect for DCI, Fred Steading, and Azita Takeshian,” said Rutsky. “Now I have the utmost gratitude. This is an incredible investment in our physicians, educators, and scientists, as well as our patients and their families.”