FORDE--Kenneth A., M.D. The President and Trustees of Columbia University mourn the passing of Kenneth A. Forde, M.D., a distinguished surgeon, researcher, teacher, Trustee, alumnus, and benefactor of the University. After graduating from Columbia's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) in 1959, Dr. Forde built his distinguished career at Columbia with over 50 years of service to the medical profession and the people it serves. He taught for more than 40 years, attaining the rank of professor of clinical surgery and occupying the Jose M. Ferrer Chair in Surgery. Specializing in diseases of the colon, he helped pioneer the use of endoscopy as a diagnostic and surgical tool. Known for the quality of his care, his eloquence, and the depth of his compassion, he once said he was "obsessed by the idea of educating patients," teaching them how not to be limited by challenges to their health. Dr. Forde served as a Trustee of Columbia University, a member of the Board of Advisors of Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), and president of the VP&S Alumni Association. "Race," said Dr. Forde in 2008, citing his great-grandmother, "is something you run and win." The only African-American student in his medical school class, Dr. Forde worked throughout his career to increase the admission of qualified minority applicants. He received numerous honors, including the Columbia University Alumni Federation Medal, Gold Medal for Excellence in Clinical Medicine, the Charles Bohmfalk Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching in the Clinical Years, and Arnold P. Gold Foundation Award for Humanism in Medicine. In 1996, The Kenneth A. Forde Professorship in Surgery and the Kenneth A. Forde Diversity Scholarship were established at Columbia University in his honor. Dr. Forde and his late wife, Kareitha Forde, to whom he was married for 60 years, were generous supporters of scholarships at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Beyond Columbia, Dr. Forde was a pillar of Christ Church in Riverdale, New York, where he was a Eucharist minister and devoted member of the vestry and choir. He served as a trustee of New York- Presbyterian Hospital, president of the New York Surgical Society, director emeritus and founding member of the Society of American and Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons Education and Research Foundation, and Commander in the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. We extend our sincerest sympathies to Dr. Forde's son, Trevor, his grandchildren, and all whom he healed, taught, and inspired in his life. He made Columbia and our world a better place and will be greatly missed.
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Published by New York Times on Jun. 4, 2019.