BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine honors Dr. Azita Hamedani

Dr. Azita Hamedani (Credit: John Maniaci, UW Health)

The Distinguished Wisconsin Endowed Chair of Emergency Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Publish Health, which is always held by the chair of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine, has been renamed the Azita G. Hamedani Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine to honor Dr. Azita Hamedani’s legacy and impact on the department.

Dr. Hamedani served as the founding chair of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine from 2014 to 2022, and prior to that as founding Division Chief from 2009 to 2014. Under Dr. Hamedani’s stewardship, emergency medicine at the University of Wisconsin and UW Health transformed from a small clinical service to a large academic department with an exceptional national reputation.

The Distinguished Chair endowment was originally established through generous contributions from Dr. Jim Berbee and Karen Walsh, as well as John and Tashia Morgridge.

According to Dr. Berbee, who is a graduate of the emergency medicine residency program that Dr. Hamedani helped found, the renaming connects past and present by celebrating Dr. Hamedani’s pioneering achievements and forward-looking leadership.

Additionally, Dr. Hamedani—who continues as faculty in the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine—is the recipient of the inaugural Wisconsin Endowed Chair of Leadership in Emergency Medicine. This distinguished chair endowment recognizes Dr. Hamedani’s innovative leadership in emergency medicine locally and nationally, as well as her dedication and success at mentoring faculty to leadership roles.

“It is an understatement to say I am extremely proud of how much our department has accomplished,” reflected Dr. Hamedani.

Dr. Manish Shah, who succeeds Dr. Hamedani as Chair of Emergency Medicine, is the inaugural Azita G. Hamedani Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Shah joined the department in 2015 as Vice Chair of Research and the John & Tashia Morgridge Chair of Emergency Medicine Research. He is a professor of emergency medicine and a pioneer in the field of geriatric emergency medicine.

“I am grateful both for Dr. Berbee’s and Mrs. Walsh’s thoughtful request [to rename the chair endowment] and for the honor of being the first to hold this endowed chair,” said Dr. Shah. “This change honors Dr. Hamedani’s transformational accomplishments in establishing the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine and building it to its current position as a national leader in academic and clinical emergency medicine.”

The Azita G. Hamedani Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine will support Dr. Shah in advancing the practice and improvement of emergency care at the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine and beyond through clinical work, education, research, and service.

The Wisconsin Endowed Chair of Leadership in Emergency Medicine will support Dr. Hamedani’s passionate pursuit to advance the academic missions of the department and invest in the next generation of health care leaders.