Anitha Vijayan, MD
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE
Professor of Medicine
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
The Division of Nephrology’s Anitha Vijayan, MD, demonstrated exceptional commitment to patients and caregivers during the pandemic through her leadership and resourcefulness. At the very start of the pandemic, Vijayan redesigned our inpatient nephrology consult structure to remove fellows, faculty with young children, and older faculty from exposure to COVID-19-infected patients. She volunteered to be the first attending on this faculty-only service, which continued for 12 weeks. She also served in leadership roles with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and BJC HealthCare, serving as a subject-matter expert, developing triage guidelines, creating a nephrology/acute dialysis preparedness document and coordinating dialysis needs across all BJC medical centers, frequently re-allocating resources to hospitals with highest need across the BJC system in collaboration with the BJC command center. Anticipating subsequent surges, she worked with the BJC command center to procure 12 additional continuous renal replacement therapy machines for intensive care units. She worked with hospital supply-chain leadership to manage inventory for 14,300 dialysis needs. This required frequent substitution of machines and filters and communication with colleagues to ensure patients received adequate renal replacement therapy. She developed plans to put COVID-19-positive patients who needed dialysis into rooms with windows, which allowed nurses to monitor patients during treatments. She was absolutely instrumental in advocating to bring COVID-19 vaccines to Washington University outpatient dialysis units for our vulnerable dialysis population, which is predominantly African American. Reflecting her professionalism and selfless dedication, Vijayan volunteered without anyone asking; she was simply determined to rise up to meet the challenges our patients faced.