“He wasn’t trying to be tough, he just loved to teach,” sonographer Shelly Gilbert said. Ms. Gilbert was describing the intimidation she felt when she first started working with the late Dr. Richard Kerber. Quickly, though, she said, she came to appreciate his deep wells of knowledge, good humor, and his “genuine love for Echo.” Anyone who worked with him, she said, “was a better sonographer” for it.
Friends, family, and colleagues gathered in the University of Iowa’s Heart and Vascular Center to dedicate the HVC’s Echo Lab in Dr. Kerber’s name. Division of Cardiovascular Director Dr. Barry London served as emcee, introducing the six speakers who each shared a brief memory of Dr. Kerber’s impact on their lives and his impact on the field.
Dr. Rudolph Koster, Professor at the University of Amsterdam, spoke of the growth of his relationship with Dr. Kerber over the years. Dr. Dianne Atkins, pediatric cardiologist, described how much his mentorship meant to her and the direction her career took. Dr. Milena Gebska, Clinical Associate Professor, displayed diagrams that Dr. Kerber drew once for her to illustrate a point he was making as evidence of how effortlessly and continually he took opportunities to educate.
Dr. Kerber’s wife, Dr. Linda Kerber, spoke as well. She described echocardiography, a field in which her husband was an international pioneer, as a delicate art and an intimate examination, as close to surgery as one could get without opening someone up. The Echo Lab that now bears his name, she said, is like an operating room, a theater where cardiologists will make immediate difference in people’s lives.
Dr. Kan Liu, the Director of the Echo Lab, followed and he reinforced the importance that Dr. Kerber’s work had on the practice. He was “honored” he said to carry on the great work that Dr. Kerber began decades ago at this institution.
Guests were then invited to tour the new lab and see just where the work would be taking place. They found physicians already in place, conducting their delicate art. Dr. Kerber would have been pleased to see such diligence.