Eric P. Kindwall Memorial Lecture
Friday, June 16: 8:30 am - 9:30 am
About the Lecture:
About the Speaker
ERIC P. KINDWALL, MD MEMORIAL LECTURE
About Dr. Kindwall:
Dr. Kindwall is known by so many as the "Father of Hyperbaric Medicine.” Whether you knew him personally or simply by reputation, we have all benefited from his efforts, passion, wisdom, knowledge, energy and vision. Dr. Kindwall has played a great role in growing and shaping the specialty of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. He was likewise instrumental in molding the UHMS into what it is today. Dr. Kindwall began diving in 1950. He cultivated his interest in the field and during the Vietnam War served as the Assistant Director of the U.S. Navy School of Submarine Medicine. He also was the Senior Officer responsible for the Diving Medicine Program. In 1969, after leaving the Navy, Dr. Kindwall became Chief of the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wis. Shortly after the Undersea Medical Society was created in the mid-1960s, Dr. Kindwall identified the need for standardized education in the field. He created the UMS Education and Standards Committee to help elevate course content and ensure instructor competence. This committee later became our Education Committee. When the AMA initiated its Continuing Medical Education program, Dr. Kindwall persuaded the organization to recognize the UMS as a grantor of CME credits. In 1972, Dr. Kindwall felt that the Society’s members would benefit from improved communication. He created our first newsletter and was named editor. Dr. Kindwall chose the name Pressure because clinical hyperbaric medicine was rapidly developing. Even though the UHMS had not yet incorporated "Hyperbaric” into the Society’s name, he wanted a title for the newsletter that would encompass all who worked with increased atmospheric pressure. He stated: "The Society’s goal then, as it is now, is to serve all who deal with the effects of increased barometric pressure.” That same year, Dr. Kindwall recognized the need to have a relationship with Medicare to help provide insight on reputable clinical management. The UMS followed this lead, and a Medicare Panel was created. The recommendations were presented to the U.S. Public Health Service. The challenge was that no reliable hyperbaric medicine clinical guidelines were available that addressed appropriate applications of Hyperbaric Medicine. To remedy this deficit, the UMS Executive Committee created an Ad Hoc Committee on hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Dr. Kindwall was named Chair. The committee created the first Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee Report. Again, this text was published 10 years before the UHMS incorporated "Hyperbaric” into its name. The report was sent to HCFA and the Blues and became their source document for reimbursement. Dr. Kindwall updated the text two more times and thus was the Editor and Chair of the Committee and text for three of its 12 editions. Dr. Kindwall later worked to expand the available information on the specialty by creating one of the first complete texts on the field. He created Hyperbaric Medicine Practice in 1994 and later updated and revised his text two more times. The Society’s first journal, Hyperbaric Oxygen Review, has also has been influenced by Dr. Kindwall. His love for research and education was clear: He became the initial editor, creating a journal that at first consisted of review articles and one original contribution. Over the years,it has grown to one full of original research. Dr. Kindwall’s presence is felt in so many of the UHMS’ activities and initiatives. Much of what we all take for granted – what is just "there” and "available” – has his touch and influence. Some of us have been blessed to have had a closer impact by Dr. Kindwall’s life, but I think that I can easily say that each of us has been influenced in some way.