Nashville VA dialysis unit named in Stone’s honorFeb. 13, 2020, 9:21 AM
by Kelsey Herbers
On Feb. 11, the Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) dedicated its dialysis unit to William Stone, MD, a nephrologist and professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who retired from VUMC and VAMC in December after 50 years.
The newly named Dr. William J. Stone Dialysis Unit, located on the 4th floor of the Nashville Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital, honors Stone’s legacy as a pioneer in the management of acute and chronic kidney disease using dialysis.
Stone, who also spent 45 years as the Nashville VA hospital’s Nephrology section chief, is credited with starting the first home-based and in-center dialysis treatments in Tennessee in the 1970s.
Focusing heavily on home hemodialysis, one early study led by Stone achieved a 91% five-year survival rate in the home hemodialysis cohort, surpassing the survival rate for patients receiving either in-center dialysis or transplantation both then and now.
“It was a unique privilege to be trained by and work with Dr. Stone,” said Alp Ikizler, MD, director of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. “He has always been a great clinician, an astute teacher and educator, a fearless patient advocate and a visionary researcher. He has touched the lives of countless medical students, residents, fellows and patients. It is wonderful to see that his legacy will continue with the dialysis unit that he single-handedly founded almost 50 years ago.”
Stone joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1969 following a year of service as a Medical Officer (Major) in the U.S. Army at the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon, Vietnam, during the Vietnam War.
His research contributions included basic understanding of the pathophysiology and complications of advanced kidney disease, such as dialysis-associated amyloidosis, erythropoietin-stimulating agents in dialysis patients and structural abnormalities in patients with Alport syndrome and Goodpasture disease. He also introduced an apheresis program to treat cryoglobulinemia, or the presence of abnormal proteins in the blood.
Stone also made a large impact in clinical teaching. During his tenure at VUMC, he gave 57 medical grand rounds for the Department of Medicine. His clinical rotation at VAMC became so popular that he served as the attending physician for two medicine teams simultaneously on several occasions when more students and residents requested his rotation than could be accommodated.