Abhijit V. Kshirsagar, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, has been awarded the Marion Stedman Covington Distinguished Professorship. As Chief Medical Director for UNC Dialysis Care and Medical Director of Carolina
Dialysis in Siler City, Kshirsagar’s clinical practice and research interests are guided by the need to improve the care of patients with chronic kidney disease, especially those on dialysis. As co-director of the UNC Kidney Education Outreach Program (KEOP), Kshirsagar oversees kidney health education and is working to increase awareness and understanding of kidney disease, aimed at reducing the burden on North Carolina communities. This award recognizes his outstanding scholarship at the UNC Kidney Center and the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.
“Since his arrival at UNC, Dr. Kshirsagar has led and published numerous important health services and epidemiologic studies in advanced kidney disease,” said Dr. Gerald Hladik, chief of the division of nephrology and hypertension, and Doc J Thurston Distinguished Professor of Medicine.
“He continues to serve as a key mentor of trainees of all stripes, junior faculty, and colleagues, while his leadership and insights have significantly strengthened the UNC Kidney Education Outreach Program. Dr. Kshirsagar is also a superb clinician, supremely devoted to caring for and improving the lives of individuals with kidney disease. I’m thrilled that we are able to honor him with the Marion Stedman Covington Distinguished Professorship.”
Kshirsagar received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed residency at UNC Hospitals. He later joined the nephrology fellowship at the UNC Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and obtained a Masters of Public Health (epidemiology) at the UNC School of Global Public Health. In 2009, he was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine and Full Professor in 2018. He has also served for many years on national committees for the American Society of Nephrology.
“My research in the dialysis setting is focused on improving care and care processes–including optimizing iron therapy, managing pain, improving dialysis access outcomes, and understanding the impact of the environment on patients’ lives,” said Kshirsagar. “As a teacher, I especially enjoy engaging with medical students, residents, and fellows about nephrology. The Kidney Center is a nurturing place, and I am lucky to be a part of it.”
Kshirsagar’s specialty areas include chronic kidney disease screening, dialysis epidemiology and health services, and anemia management. He currently serves as the UNC Investigator for studies funded by the National Institutes of Health to engage dialysis patients in advance care planning and to understand the impact of surgeons and other physicians on vascular access outcomes; these studies collaborate with researchers from other institutions such as Duke University, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, and Emory University. Prior research, sponsored by funding from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, has investigated the safety and effectiveness of intravenous iron (along with Alan Brookhart, PhD, and Til Stürmer, MD, PhD, with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health), and the validation of a screening tool for CKD in North Carolina’s rural counties.
The distinguished professorship honors Marion Stedman Covington, who had a long history of volunteerism and philanthropy, with memberships and involvements in numerous state and national organizations, according to the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation. The Foundation describes her as having an overwhelming desire to enrich the lives of others, which led her to establish the Foundation in 1986.