Kimberly Y. Smith, Associate Professor of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
Whatever the aspect of the HIV epidemic that's in need of further exploration, you can bet that Kimberly Smith will take it upon herself to seek answers -- whether the question concerns perceptions of risk, HIV treatment in women or a host of other topics on which she's spoken and co-authored studies. She's part of a cadre of clinician/researchers (Drs. David Malebranche and Errol Fields also come to mind) that are not only keeping the HIV research community's eye on the true drivers of the epidemic, but also broadening collective understanding of HIV/AIDS among communities most affected.Show More
Smith has worked to ensure that HIV clinical trials enroll more women and people of color, as chair of the Underrepresented Populations Committee of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and that more people of color get into and stay in HIV medicine by helping to establish the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA)'s Minority Clinical Fellowship Program. Her accomplishments have won her many honors, to be sure -- but only a direct colleague can speak to the ways her commitment translates to her patients. As Bethsheba Johnson, G.N.P.-B.C., A.A.H.I.V.S., who worked directly under Smith's supervision during her pre-doctoral work at Rush University Medical Center, remembers: "She exemplified HIV knowledge and an abundance of compassion with healthy doses of empathy. She hugged patients who needed a hug, dried tears and gave encouragement as well as a 'come to Jesus' talk when necessary for the most stubborn patients. ... Her passion for her work is truly evident in addressing the work that still needs to be done in HIV/AIDS not only for African Americans and women, but for everyone."