Drs. Azita Hamedani and Manish Shah honored at Faculty Investiture Celebration

Left to right: Dr. James G. Berbee, Karen Walsh, Dr. Azita Hamedani, Katy Oksuita, and Dr. Ciara Barclay-Buchanan (Photo: John Maniaci / UW Health)

On Thursday, June 29, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Memorial Union, School of Medicine and Public Health faculty honorees, donors, and leaders gathered for the second annual University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Faculty Investiture Celebration. The event celebrated and honored incredible faculty and recognized the outstanding individuals who make their pioneering work possible through generous faculty support gifts.

This is the second time a school-wide, centralized investiture ceremony has been held, with one of the goals being to provide a consistent experience for all generous donors who establish endowed faculty positions and the faculty who are benefiting from their generosity.

The faculty investiture ceremony is a gathering that signifies that a faculty member now holds an endowed professorship, chairship, or fellowship, which are supported through philanthropy. An endowed faculty position is the highest honor the school can bestow on its faculty members. It represents an investment in talent and the future, pushing forward the school’s mission of advancing health and health equity through remarkable service to patients and communities, outstanding education, and innovative research.

Endowed positions enable the school to recognize and advance faculty members’ passionate pursuit to understand, treat, and eventually cure devastating diseases. Furthermore, it allows the school to invest in the next generation of healthcare leaders. The ceremony honored the accomplishments of inspiring and innovative endowed faculty and recognized its philanthropic partners who lead the charge to usher in a new era of medicine.

Two faculty of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine were honored with named chair endowments at this year’s event. Azita G. Hamedani, MD, MPH, MBA, 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.

Manish N. Shah, MD, MPH, was honored with the Azita G. Hamedani Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine and will support him in advancing the practice and improvement of emergency care at the University of Wisconsin and beyond through clinical work, education, research, and service. Dr. Shah was traveling and unable to attend the event.

“The endowed positions we honor this evening provide precious flexible funding that allows each recipient to take risks and pursue new areas of interest, supporting the time and resources required for new ‘outside the box’ pilot projects,” said Nancy Raymond, MD, associate dean for faculty affairs and development, during her opening remarks at the event. “This is what helps these leaders, and our entire institution, create avenues for progress in advancing the health and well-being of all. And this critical support would not be possible without the generosity of our donors.”

The event is part of Wisconsin Medicine, the philanthropic partnership between UW Health and UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine expresses appreciation for the donors who support these named endowments, including Dr. James G. Berbee and Karen Walsh, and John and Tasha Morgridge.