It still seems like only yesterday that so many family, friends, and admirers had to say good-bye to Dr. Richard Kerber. Efforts to keep his spirit alive, however, can be found in a variety of places. Most recently at Iowa, the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine raised funds to remodel and dedicate the Richard E. Kerber Cardiology Fellows Room.
But Dr. Kerber touched the lives of many outside of the University of Iowa as well. To recognize the influence of its past president and one of its most influential members, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will launch the inaugural Richard E. Kerber Ethics/Humanitarian Lecture at this year’s ASE Scientific Sessions in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 24.
ASE Chief Executive Officer Robin Wiegerink said that ASE did not debate long about what would be an appropriate way to memorialize Dr. Kerber. It was clear how much ASE meant to Dr. Kerber and vice versa; past ASE president Dr. Alan Pearlman published a eulogy in the Journal of American Society of Echocardiography last October. The ideas of scholarships or travel grants to society meetings were raised, but they settled quickly on the named lecture. “We felt it was more fitting to have it be a living thing, something that would happen that would bring up his name each year.”
The first lecture will be delivered by Dr. James Kirkpatrick, director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He will discuss ethical challenges related to echocardiography, both in terms of practice and procedure. Ms. Wiegerink said that Dr. Kirkpatrick served on the ASE Ethics Committee, of which Dr. Kerber had been chair. Future lectures may also focus on humanitarian issues, as Ms. Wiegerink explained that Dr. Kerber had also successfully advocated for ASE’s involvement in global health outreach missions.
Dr. Kerber’s family have also been invited to attend the inaugural lecture in Nashville. Ms. Wiegerink is grateful for the chance to show them and the other ASE meeting attendees just how who Dr. Kerber was. “He was one of the nicest, most well-spoken, just such a gentle soul. He had a long and very supportive role with ASE, so it was fitting to give him some type of honor.”