Reunited for the first time in more than two years since before the pandemic began, members of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension met on a Sunday evening at Rapid Creek Cidery to celebrate more than just their graduating fellows. Tucked into an apple orchard just north of Iowa City, faculty, family, and friends were also present to reaffirm their gratitude and affection for each other.
Before the dinner and the formal presentations, guests mingled and the kids got to play games or practice their art with sidewalk chalk outside on the patio.
After dinner, Fellowship Program Director Lisa Antes, MD, and Division Director Chou-Long Huang, MD, PhD, welcomed everyone and spoke briefly about the challenges of the last couple years and the strength and resilience shown not just by the fellows but by everyone in the division.
Awards were delivered to deserving faculty as well. Melissa Swee, MD, MS, MME, received the division’s Nephrology Citizenship Award for service above and beyond. Transplant Fellowship Director Sarat Kuppachi, MBBS, received the inaugural Elizabeth Kuo Nephrology Teaching Award, named in honor for a departed friend, colleague, and mentor, whose absence in the division and department is still deeply felt. Antes also recognized the contributions of Morgan Ebel and Lisa Novak, whose administrative support continues to be essential to the successes of the training programs as well as the division.
Antes and Kuppachi then introduced each of the evening’s honorees–nephrology fellow Iiro Honkanen, MD, and transplant nephrology fellow Muhammad Tariq Baig, MBBS, respectively. Their contributions and dedication were praised, and each of them also got to say a few words of thanks to all who helped them reach this point.
Guests were invited to step outside for some group photos against a glowing backdrop. The department is grateful for the photography of transplant surgeon Daniel Katz, MD.
As a postscript, a new tradition as graduation nears is to update the photography of all the nephrology fellows for a variety of uses. We appreciate them taking a mid-morning break to participate.
Iiro Honkanen, MD
Muhammad Tariq Baig, MBBS