As one of the original members of ACCRF’s Board of Directors, Kara Gelb helped set the tone and direction of the foundation. She combined a keen, results-oriented mind with a velvety ability to put people at ease in coming to useful solutions. And Kara demonstrated the depth of her caring by counseling many ACC patients through their agonizing treatment decisions. She could always draw upon her own experience with ACC of the trachea, neutron radiation, radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation and clinical trials to connect with other patients, calmly sharing both the technical details and emotional dimensions.
When Kara joined ACCRF as a Director in 2006, she was a Principal in GE Healthcare’s clinical consulting practice where she worked to enhance the quality of hospital operations across the United States. After moving to the United Kingdom a few years later, she led the Women’s Health Division of the University College London Hospitals. The unifying theme of her professional career, including her efforts at ACCRF, was to improve patient outcomes through listening, analyzing and making quality decisions. She was a wizard with spreadsheets but also understood deeply the human impact behind the numbers. During her 16 years of dealing with ACC, Kara drew strength from her husband Andrew and their two children, paying it forward to so many others.
Kara passed away on July 3, 2018. However, the impact of her thoughts, feelings and actions will always reverberate throughout the ACC patient community.