August 14, 2017

Kumar receives 2017 Brewer-Heslin Endowed Award for Professionalism in Medicine

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Kumar Brewer HeslinVineeta Kumar, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Medicine in the UAB School of Medicine, has received the 2017 Brewer-Heslin Endowed Award for Professionalism in Medicine.

As the lead nephrologist for both UAB’s Living Kidney Donor Program and HLA/ABO Incompatible Program, Kumar’s daily practice of medicine enables life-saving transplants for people who otherwise would die on dialysis. She has also been lead facilitator of the UAB Schwartz Rounds since 2009, a program that brings together nurses, physicians, social workers, and other providers to discuss delivery of compassionate care. Her unwavering commitment to her patients and colleagues is one of the key reasons she was selected for the award.

According to Department Chair C. Seth Landefeld, M.D., “Dr. Kumar embodies the aspirational qualities of professionalism recognized by the Brewer-Heslin Award in every way. All of us in the Department of Medicine are honored to have her as a colleague.”

The award, which was presented at the School’s annual White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 13, is named for the late Alabama Governor Albert P. Brewer and UAB Medicine’s Chief of the Medical Staff Martin J. Heslin, M.D. The endowment was established in 2015 to recognize physicians at UAB who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to providing highly skilled and deeply compassionate medical care to their patients. Brewer made the gift in appreciation for the professionalism he observed and admired in Heslin, who had been his surgeon.  

Kumar says that she was profoundly humbled to receive the award. “I am deeply honored and grateful to be part of an enterprise led by so many wonderful, supportive physicians like Drs. Marty Heslin, Seth Landefeld, Anupam Agarwal and Bob Gaston. I will consciously try to live up the spirit of this award every day.”

Kumar graduated with honors from M.P. Shah Medical College in Jamnagar, India. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and served as a chief resident in the Department of Medicine. She was there for several years at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine where she won numerous faculty teaching and compassionate care awards. She joined the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington, in 2004, where she completed a clinical and research fellowship in nephrology followed by a transplant nephrology fellowship at UAB from 2006-2007. She joined faculty at UAB in 2007 where she has been awarded the Department of Medicine Cobbs/Rutsky Clinical Excellence Award every year for five years in a row and received the UAB Core Values Program Excellence in Action award in 2016. Kumar is committed to lifelong learning and has gained both local and national prominence being selected for an Argus Award for “Best Educator” by the UAB Medical School classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020 as well as previously having won eight Teacher of the Year Awards as a faculty member at UTHSC San Antonio. Dr. Kumar was invited to serve on the Education Committee for the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and nominated to be chair in 2014.