The International Academy of Cardiology sadly announces the passing of Dr. Asher Kimchi, Founder and Chairman of the International Academy of Cardiology.
Los Angeles, CA, USA, October 20, 2022
Dr. Asher Kimchi, Founder and Chairman of the International Academy of Cardiology, passed away on October 7. He was 76.
Dr. Kimchi was born in Tel Aviv in 1946. He studied at Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, where he received his medical degree in 1971. After an internship in Internal Medicine at Hadassah, he joined the Israeli Air Force as a Flight Surgeon in 1972, serving until 1978. He led the evacuation of Air Force personnel during the Yom Kippur war and subsequently became the Commander of the Israeli Aero-medical Evacuation Unit, achieving the rank of Major. Proud of his Air Force work, he particularly enjoyed telling of his becoming a certified paratrooper. He completed a cardiology fellowship at Hadassah, followed by a 3-year internal medicine residency at the University of California, Davis. He then came to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he completed fellowships in cardiology research and critical care. In 1983, he became an Attending Physician in the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai, where he practiced for 40 years. He was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Clinical Professor of Medicina and Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai.
Dr. Kimchi met the love of his life, Rebeca in 1977, when the free-spirited Becky took what was planned to be a brief trip from Mexico to Israel, but upon meeting Asher, ended up staying. They married in 1977 and were blessed with two children, Eyal and Eitan, who gave them 4 grandchildren. Inspired by their father, both sons became physicians and are currently both in academic medicine at leading institutions in Chicago.
Dr. Kimchi was indefatigable. Second only to his devotion to his family, Kimchi's passion was his medical career. He had a busy private practice of cardiology for 40 years. Dr. Kimchi was a superb, caring physician. He loved taking care of his patients, always there for them at any time, for as long as they needed.
In addition, Dr. Kimchi was devoted to post-graduate education and clinical research throughout his career. Dr. Kimchi established and served as Chair of the International Academy of Cardiology since 1997. The International Academy of Cardiology is dedicated to the advancement of global research in cardiovascular medicine through the support of scientific meetings and publications.
He started the World Congress on Heart Disease, which he directed for 27 years, holding 23 international congresses in the United States, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Canada, and Russia, attended by cardiologists and allied health care professionals from 55 countries around the globe. Dr. Kimchi's mission for the World Congress on Heart Disease was to provide an outstanding meeting for aspiring young researchers to present their research and interact with senior investigators in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.
He established and served as editor of the Journal of Heart Failure and the Journal of Heart Disease. Early during his career at Cedars-Sinai, he published numerous original research manuscripts on pharmaceuticals, imaging, and critical care. Later, Dr. Kimchi's research focused on the management of patients hospitalized with decompensated heart failure and designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to improve these patients' outcomes. This work was rejuvenating and fulfilling for him.
Dr. Kimchi was a leader at Cedars-Sinai in multiple areas. He was Clinical Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai from 2013-2016 and subsequently played a key role in helping establish the newly formed Department of Cardiology, over the next several years. He was elected member of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Executive Committee for 11 years. He served as Medical Director of the Preventive and Consultative Heart Center of Excellence of the Smidt Heart Institute, through which he held quarterly educational conferences for its over 100 members. When remote learning became the norm, the meetings were viewed by hundreds of cardiologists worldwide. He was president of the American Heart Association, Greater Los Angeles Affiliate and served as a member of the Board of Directors, American College of Cardiology, California Chapter.
He was the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, including the Passion of the Heart Award from the American Heart Association (AHA). He was a Fellow in numerous professional societies, including the American College of Physicians, the AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (FIACS). In 2019, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Cardiovascular Science, Medicine and Surgery from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences in Bangalore, India.
Dr. Kimchi pushed himself to be as perfect as he could be in everything that he did and to always do the right thing. He was warm, kind, and caring with everyone. A loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, and physician, Dr. Kimchi was a mensch, a model human being. His passing is a devastating loss to all of us who knew him, and he will be missed dearly.
Many people have asked us about an opportunity to honor Asher’s memory and indelible legacy. Here is a link to a memorial fund that Cedars Sinai has set up: https://giving.cedars-sinai.edu/asherkimchi. The fund, which will be in Asher’s name, will be used to support cardiology-related activities at Cedars-Sinai.