An Atlanta kidney transplant specialist, David Lowance has held close the spirit and values of his Baylor years throughout his career. It was during his first years of work with an Atlanta-based family practitioner that he developed a keen interest in kidney disease and prevention.
"In the late sixties there were no federally funded kidney dialysis or transplantation programs, so we treated kidney patients with hospice care, basically making them as comfortable as possible, but not helping them to recover or regain quality of life," he explains. "I became very interested in finding ways to prevent and manage kidney disease, and ended up taking an acid-based physiology research fellowship to do research in that area."
In 1985, as a result of his lifelong commitment to kidney research, David helped establish the Atlanta region's first kidney transplant center in conjunction with Emory University and Piedmont Hospital. "When we started, there were approximately 45 transplants per year," he states. "These days we do over 300 transplants a year. That's a miracle in my lifetime, to see patients that would once have been bedridden return to their normal lives as parents, spouses, professionals -- as productive members of our community."
And with a clinical professorship at Emory, an ongoing commitment to clinical research which recently culminated in the publication of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, and an active civic life that includes serving on the board of directors for LifeLink Foundation, an organ procurement agency that serves all of Georgia and the west coast of Florida, David himself models the very values he learned from his Baylor mentors.
"That's what it's all about," he concludes, "that unwritten rule that you should always do the very best you can at whatever you excel in."