Saint Luke’s honored two of its visionary leaders this week as Mikhail Kosiborod, MD, was formally recognized as the inaugural Ben McCallister, MD, Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research.
A virtual event on April 20 officially introduced Saint Luke’s newest endowed chair.
“An endowed chair is an investment in innovation and hope,” said Michael Main, MD, Co-Executive Medical Director of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Cardiovascular Division Chair, and interim Saint Luke’s Physician Group CEO. “It not only honors the holder of the chair, but also offers lasting respect and gratitude to the individual for whom the endowed chair is named.”
A pioneer in cardiovascular research
The chair is named for the late Dr. Ben McCallister, who championed CV care and research throughout his decades at Saint Luke’s. He created Saint Luke’s Cardiovascular Consultants and helped found Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute.
He was dedicated to outcomes research that would make a difference where it mattered most—at the bedside, for the patient. And he was committed to sharing his expertise with future generations of clinicians.
“Dr. McCallister’s leadership resulted in the creation of one of the first cardiovascular outcomes research programs in the world, a program later renamed in his honor as the Ben McCallister, MD, Clinical Scholars Program,” said Tracy Stevens, MD, Medical Director of Saint Luke’s Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center. “His foresight has provided generations of cardiovascular researchers the support and dedicated time they need to pursue research interests, resulting in one of the premier and most productive research programs in the country.”
Making a lasting impact
Today, under Dr. Kosiborod’s leadership, the Clinical Scholars Program includes a record 18 cardiologists, and the cardiovascular research department published more than 300 scientific papers in 2020.
“From Dr. McCallister’s vision and leadership that helped create the world’s first standalone, dedicated heart hospital in 1982, to Dr. Kosiborod’s groundbreaking work today with the Cardiometabolic Center Alliance, reimagining the treatment of Type 2 diabetes using team-based, comprehensive preventive care, there is a legacy, a foundation, and an expectation of excellence from Saint Luke’s,” said SLHS President and CEO Melinda L. Estes, MD.
This endowed chair is a meaningful honor to Dr. Kosiborod because of his deep respect and admiration for Dr. McCallister, who played a key role in Dr. Kosiborod’s recruitment to the program 16 years ago.
“Our research infrastructure continues to grow and thrive, supporting hundreds of clinical trials and research studies, and leading global efforts in fighting multiple threats, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and COVID-19, among others,” said Dr. Kosiborod, who is also a practicing cardiologist, Executive Director of the Cardiometabolic Center Alliance, and Co-Director of the Saint Luke’s Michael & Marlys Haverty Cardiometabolic Center of Excellence, as well as Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.
“As the inaugural Ben McCallister, MD, Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research, my intent will be to deploy the support from this Chair to further advance the objectives of the Clinical Scholars Program that was founded by Dr. McCallister, so that our clinician investigators can continue to innovate, explore, and discover.”
Passion, dedication, and innovation
“One person can have a phenomenal impact on countless lives,” said Brian Moore, interim CEO of Saint Luke’s Foundation, during his remarks in the April 20 program. “And tonight, we honor two Saint Luke’s figures whose passion, dedication, and innovation continue to help shape cardiovascular care today—and in the future.”
The speakers also pointed to the crucial role philanthropy and generous supporters play in ongoing research.
“Research enables us here at Saint Luke’s—and medical professionals everywhere—to provide the safest, most advanced, and most effective treatments and therapies for patients with complex conditions,” said Jani Johnson, CEO of Saint Luke’s Central Region, which includes Medical Education and Research. “Every day, I have the honor of being surrounded by and working with some of the industry’s leading minds in this critically important area, and the word that best describes it is inspiring.”
Visit this link to watch the full Ben McCallister, MD, Legacy Celebration program.