Dr. Richard E. Kerber

Richard E. Kerber, MD (1936 – 2016), was a pioneer in echocardiography, myocardial function, coronary pathophysiology, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He is remembered as an exceptional physician-scientist and teacher, and was dedicated to ensuring that research advanced clinical practice to benefit the whole community. He was a faculty member at the University of Iowa Health Care’s Division of Cardiology for more than 45 years and was a leader in the development of the American Heart Association (AHA) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines, the worldwide gold standard. Kerber also was instrumental in the development of public access defibrillation programs whereby AEDs are placed in communities for use by bystanders.

The Richard E. Kerber HeartSafe Initiative, launched in 2017, aims to train University of Iowa faculty and staff working in non-medical buildings in CPR and the use of AEDs. The initiative also will increase the number and visibility of AEDs on campus, helping the UI meet the standards required to be certified as a HeartSafe Campus by the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Association.

Inspired and informed by that initiative, the Rotary-Kerber Heartsafe Community Campaign was launched in 2019 by a Rotary grant to further advance the knowledge and accessibility of bystander CPR/AED use in the Iowa City and Coralville communities. Read more about our goals here.