The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) honored Tarek Alhamad, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Nephrology, and Jason Wellen, MD, MBA, associate professor of surgery, with the local chapter’s highest honor, the Award of Excellence. The awards were presented at the 33rd Annual 2019 NKF Gift of Life Gala, held November 16, 2019 at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel.
Each year, the organization recognizes the “incredible passion and dedication” of individuals who have made invaluable contributions in assisting the NKF to carry out its mission in the St. Louis community.
Kathleen Davis, executive director of the NKF local chapter (serving Eastern Missouri/Metro East Illinois/Arkansas), says, “Dr. Alhamad is so well respected in the community and this award is so well deserved.”
At the gala, Alhamad, who is medical director of the pancreas and kidney transplant programs at Barnes Jewish/Washington University Transplant Center, was praised for his years of service on the local NKF Medical Advisory Board, his insight and council given to staff and other professionals, and his support that has helped expand the local chapter’s engagement in the medical world.
In addition, Alhamad was commended for his hands-on support and guidance providing for advocacy efforts in Jefferson City and Renal Roundtable programming that has expanded outreach into the St. Louis community. Gene Ridolfi, MHA, RN, executive director of the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center presented the awards to Alhamad and Wellen.
“I am very honored to receive the Award of Excellence along with Jason Wellen, and look forward to working closely with our referring nephrologists to fight kidney disease,” says Alhamad.
The annual gala is one of NKF’s signature fundraising events in the St. Louis area. This year’s gala featured a ball drop, silent and live auctions, fabulous food, entertainment, and presentation of the awards to Alhamad and Wellen.
The NKF is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to raising public awareness of the prevention and treatment of kidney disease, providing free local health screenings and support to kidney patients/donors and their families, educating healthcare professionals, and being an advocate in Washington D.C. for kidney patients.
Alhamad is the organizer of the popular Midwest Transplant & Nephrology Symposiums, the 4th of which was the biggest so far, providing more workshops and speakers, and had more attendees. He was also recently appointed to a three-year term as the new Region 8 representative to the OPTN/UNOS Pancreas Transplantation Committee, which is charged with considering medical, scientific, and ethical aspects related to pancreas and pancreas islet organ procurement, distribution, and allocation.
Follow Dr. Alhamad @TransplantPulse and WU Nephrology @WUNephrology on Twitter.