Dr. Shubha Kerkar: IDSA Fellowship is Top Accolade
(Palm Springs, CA) December 10, 2020 -- Shubha Kerkar, MD, FIDSA, was given the top honor in her field when she was elected recently as a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the nation’s leading infectious diseases professional society. This accolade helps shine a spotlight on her decades of service to people with HIV (PWH) in the Coachella Valley, beginning in the early 1990s, when mortality rates were much higher.
“I am delighted, and I feel appreciative of this recognition,” said Dr. Kerkar. “I recognize that I walk this path of success, together with all, and not alone.”
Today as COVID presents similar challenges for patients and health care workers to navigate, she continues making a substantial contribution to public health. Dr. Kerkar is Director of Infectious Diseases at DAP and Desert Regional Medical Center, and an infectious diseases consultant at Eisenhower Health.
“Dr. Kerkar helped us write the roadmap created during the worst years of the AIDS crisis, one that we apply today for patient care at DAP,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “While COVID continues to complicate healthcare, her expertise in infectious diseases is matched only by her leadership and compassion for others.”
Fellowship in IDSA is the highest honor in the field of infectious diseases. It is given to those who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to the profession.
“Infectious diseases specialists have trained their entire careers to step up to the plate during a crisis such as the one we face today with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IDSA President Barbara Alexander, MD, MHS, FIDSA. “ID physicians and scientists are working on the front lines of every aspect of this outbreak, from treating patients to developing and studying diagnostics and therapies to working on vaccines. They are also preparing for the next outbreak and protecting individual and public health.”
As COVID vaccines are nearing release, Dr. Kerkar is quick to point out that public trust in any vaccination is the first hurdle in widespread adoption. She and her peers play a big role.
“Winning trust in the vaccines depends on the credibility of the doctors, scientists, and experts who must act now to educate and work to calm fears around safety and efficacy,” said Dr. Kerkar. “Once accepted, then the details of how to administer to the entire world population are practical challenges.”
You can watch Dr. Kerkar describe the early days of HIV when she accepted the 100 Women Award from Barbara Boxer at the 2018 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards here.
Applicants for IDSA Fellowship must be nominated by their peers and meet specified criteria that include continuing identification with the field of infectious diseases, national or regional recognition, and publication of their scholarly work. Nominees are reviewed and elected by the IDSA Board of Directors. Fellows of IDSA work in many different settings, including clinical practice, teaching, research, public health and health care administration. You can read more here.
About the Infectious Diseases Society of America
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is a community of over 12,000 physicians, scientists and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases. Our mission is to improve the health of individuals, communities, and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases.
About DAP Health Center
DAP Health Center (DAP) is a humanitarian health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 8,000 people, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other health and wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.
DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.
Visit www.desertaidsproject.org to learn more.