Moving Ceremony Celebrates Haidas Chair

Kidney failure suddenly changed the lives of James “Jim” G. Haidas and his family in 1995. Looking for answers, hope, and most important, time, they reached out to one of the leading kidney specialists in the United States, Julian L. Seifter, MD, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“It took the Brigham village with Dr. Seifter as mayor to give our family more years with our father,” said Michael Haidas, the youngest of Jim’s two sons, at a special event honoring Seifter. “Dad not only saw us graduate from high school, but saw us graduate from college, start careers, get married, and start families. The years we gained were full of love and appreciation, and we didn’t take them for granted.”

In April, the Haidas family and BWH community applauded Seifter as the first incumbent of the James G. Haidas Family Distinguished Chair in Medicine. With a generous gift from Jim’s wife, Frances J. Haidas, and sons, Van and Michael, along with support from other grateful patients, BWH established the endowed chair, one of the highest honors the hospital can provide a faculty member.

Joseph V. Bonventre, MD, PhD, BWH’s chief of renal medicine, said, “The chair will advance teaching and mentoring opportunities in the Department of Medicine, including renal medicine, to recruit and train the next generation of gifted practitioners. It will also continue the tradition of excellence in patient-centered care Dr. Seifter has nurtured and supported.”

During the 20 years Seifter cared for Jim until he succumbed to illness in 2015, the two formed a close bond. In honor of this relationship and Seifter’s legacy of caring, the chair will be renamed the James G. Haidas Family and Julian L. Seifter, MD, Distinguished Chair in Medicine after Seifter’s retirement.

“I am so grateful to the Haidas family, and grateful to Frances for the privilege of having known Jim,” said Seifter. “To share in this chair, and be joined with the Haidas name, is the greatest thing that has happened in my professional life.”