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Riverside Foundation Celebrates Dr. Gary Kavit: 2020 Distinguished Provider of the Year



Riverside Foundation
Distinguished Provider, Gary S. Kavit, M.D.

During a challenging year, the Riverside Foundation continued the tradition of celebrating our dedicated supporters, a tradition set in motion in 2019 with the recognition of twenty of the most remarkable people and entities who built the Foundation into what it is today.

And now, each year, the Foundation will add to this powerhouse list by naming a distinguished provider and a distinguished citizen of the year. These indomitable supporters have thrown their enthusiasm and engagement behind the Foundation to ensure the best in treatment and comfort for our patients.

The Riverside Foundation is proud to announce 2020’s Distinguished Provider of the Year: Gary S. Kavit, M.D.

Gary S. Kavit, M.D., is a board-certified emergency medical physician, Riverside’s service line chief for Emergency Services, and medical director at Riverside Regional Medical Center, which offers the only accredited Level II Emergency and Trauma Center in the region. Dr. Kavit’s leadership of the talented and dedicated teams in all five of Riverside’s emergency rooms has always been outstanding, but it required an increased level of focus and coordination throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospital ERs have been on the front lines of the pandemic, treating affected patients even while the body of knowledge about the virus evolves daily.

Dr. Kavit acknowledges that cooperation and support from the community and from his physician peers were critical to the success that Riverside’s ERs experienced in treating patients during this challenging time. The community listened to the advice of experts to stay safe, and physicians across Riverside pulled together to ensure each patient was receiving the best possible treatment based on the most current evidence.

Even before COVID-19 disruptions, Dr. Kavit was an enthusiastic proponent of a Foundation initiative, the Simulation Training Lab that is part of the Huntington Ingalls Industries Education & Training Center. “The Sim Lab was not my idea, but I became all-in as soon as I heard about it,” Dr. Kavit said. “This type of training facility is extremely important for Riverside as a whole and uniquely important to our emergency care service line.”

In April, the Sim Lab will hold its first large-scale clinical skills program, involving a variety of work stations where ER staff will practice complex and infrequent high-risk procedures, ultrasounds, and team training for trauma scenarios. This and other types of critical training can now be held more frequently and onsite, rather than staff having to travel elsewhere to receive it. Skills that are learned or refreshed in the Sim Lab will directly benefit patients in the ER and can improve team member job satisfaction, which translates to retaining a highly skilled work force.

Dr. Kavit knows there is more good to come from the Sim Lab, named in memory of Dr. Brandon D. Rogers, a family medicine resident at Riverside who passed away tragically in 2017. When he learned about the plans for the lab a few years ago, Dr. Kavit and his wife, Judith, wanted to contribute in a meaningful way.

They worked with the Riverside Foundation to establish a matching gift program that would encourage emergency department physicians to participate. To date, the Kavits’ matching gift has generated four times their original contribution and will go a long way in supporting this important training facility.

Dr. Kavit’s spirit of giving was instilled in him by his father, who was a frugal man but generous to his community. He stressed the importance of this to his young son. Dr. Kavit remembers, “Early in my career, whenever my father visited, he brought along articles and mail from worthy organizations that needed community support just so I could see and understand their needs.” He gives his father much credit and recognizes his own satisfaction in seeing the rewards of supporting a good cause. In the case of the Simulation Lab gift, he feels a sense of pride in knowing that he and his peers are personally involved in making what is important to their daily work become a successful venture.

As Dr. Kavit sees the everyday tangible results of his philanthropy to Riverside, he hopes to be a positive role model for all physicians. “It is a two-way street,” he says. “The more successful Riverside is, the more our providers will flourish. Likewise, the more successful our providers are, the more Riverside will thrive.”

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