The Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease (ACKD) journal is mourning the loss of Dr Jerry Yee, an established leader in the nephrology community, and editor emeritus of the ACKD journal (Editor-in-Chief 2009 to 2020).
Dr Yee passed away unexpectedly on June 9, 2022. For the past 25 years he was based in Detroit, MI, as the Division Head of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Henry Ford Medical Group and Medical Director for Greenfield Health Systems.
Dr Yee completed his doctoral training at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, followed by residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, TX. He then went on to do his nephrology training at Temple University in Philadelphia, followed by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He served as a Major in the United States Army between 1982 and 1989, after which he joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as a Clinical Assistant Professor. He arrived at Henry Ford Hospital in 1997 as a Staff Physician and was appointed as the Division Head of Nephrology and Hypertension in 2001. He was also a Clinical Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit as an academic appointment.
“Jerry has been a mentor to countless fellows and faculty at Henry Ford Hospital, and dedicated his career to the growth of the division across all of its missions. His impact was of tremendous magnitude and will be felt for years to come, and his loss is simply irreplaceable,” said Dr Sandeep S. Soman, Acting Division Director, Nephrology and Hypertension.
Dr Yee was a consummate clinician and his contributions extended beyond direct patient care, including serving the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). “Dr Yee was a true leader in nephrology. For more than 3 decades, he worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for patients with kidney disease and dedicated so much of his time in contributing to NKF's professional education mission. He elevated the quality and prominence of several NKF initiatives during his tenure as Chair of the Spring Clinical Meetings Program Committee and as Editor-in-Chief of ACKD journal between 2009-2020. Because of him, over 200 lectures are online and available to nephrologists. The NKF is a better, stronger organization because of Dr Yee. We will always be grateful for the countless hours and insights he shared with us,” said Kerry Willis, Chief Scientific Officer of the NKF.
“We've had the honor of celebrating Dr Yee's work at NKF as the 2019 recipient of the Donald F. Seldin Award, one of the organization's highest honors that recognizes excellence in clinical nephrology. He was a true friend to NKF and will be deeply missed,” said Dr Holly Matix-Kramer, ex-officio President of the NKF (2019-2020), who also served as the Associate Editor of the ACKD journal with Dr Yee.
“Dr Yee was a master teacher and clinician and had a command on all aspects of general nephrology. His research interests focused on chronic kidney disease and hypertension, and were funded by NIH and other major foundations. He authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and many other chapters and monographs. Along with many editorial roles, he also served as the Co-Editor of NephSAP from 2013 to 2019 and also directed ASN [American Society of Nephrology] Weekends and Highlights, which summarized clinical highpoints of the annual ASN meetings to audiences both domestically and internationally. He had such an impact as a teacher to include his patients, trainees, nephrologists, and our leaders. He was instrumental in building a network for recognition for his mentees and to help them succeed. We will miss him dearly,” said Dr Michael Choi, Past President of the NKF (2016-2018), who also served as the deputy editor of ACKD journal with Dr Yee.
In 2009, Dr Yee assumed the role of Editor-in-Chief of the ACKD journal. “I recall being invited by Dr Yee as a guest editor for ACKD in 2017,” says Dr Charuhas Thakar, Division Director Nephrology at University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. “Jerry's passion and discipline for this work was palpable. He was an inspiring figure and a generous individual who combined his creativity with an impeccable work ethic. He always had that extra time for his mentees and peers to ensure that they were successful. It is an honor to be able to continue this aspect of his legacy,” Thakar concluded.
“As Editor-in-Chief, Dr Yee ensured the important topics covered in ACKD were of relevance to clinicians and the entire nephrology care team, fostering an inclusive slate of Guest Editors and Editorial Board members along the way,” Kate Williamson, Senior Publisher at Elsevier, said. “He was unfailingly kind and generous with his time, and we mourn his loss.” The entire ACKD editorial board and staff, including Dr Yee's managing editor Dr Nandita Mani (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), pay their tributes to Dr Yee's contributions to the journal, and—in Jerry's words—“to the Awesome Comprehensive Knowledge Dissemination.”
Dr Yee will be remembered for his keen intellect, selfless leadership and mentorship, and passion to help improve the lives of patients with kidney disease. His legacy will live on through the many lives he touched and impacted.