Thrive by IU Health

June 02, 2021

As he retires: Transplant leader dedicated to patients and hospital community

As he retires: Transplant leader dedicated to patients and hospital community

After more than a decade of serving as IU Health’s Medical Director of Kidney & Pancreas Transplant and Transplant Program Medical Director of Living Kidney Donation Program, Dr. Tim Taber prepares to retire.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

He’s treated countless patients, mentored hundreds of aspiring physicians, has been a trusted colleague to members of the IU Health Transplant Program, and estimates he’s been on call more than 1,000 weekends during his career.

“I wouldn’t change anything for the world. My mother told me I was born to be a doctor and I guess she was right,” said Dr. Tim Taber.

Among his peers, Dr. Taber is known for his dedication to his patients, co-workers and the transplant community. He has been a teacher in his field, presenting at national meetings and publishing in leading medical journals.

Now Dr. Taber is preparing for his retirement from IU Health.

A graduate of IU School of Medicine, Dr. Taber completed his fellowship at IU Health Methodist Hospital in 1986. He continued at Methodist Hospital practicing transplant nephrology and conducting clinical research. Since 2008, he has served on the faculty of IU School of Medicine, and as IU Health’s Medical Director of Kidney & Pancreas Transplant and Medical Director of Living Kidney Donation Program.

“Dr. Taber was instrumental in the growth of the Kidney Transplant Program. He brought together a team of dedicated transplant nephrologists, increased the Transplant Program’s outreach to the entire State of Indiana, and championed the paired Donor Exchange Program. He was always looking at strategies to help more patients receive a kidney transplant,” said IU Health Dr. William Goggins, Surgical Director of Renal Transplantation.

As a leader in the IU Health transplant program, Dr. Taber worked with a team that nearly doubled the annual number of patients receiving kidney transplants. He expanded donor evaluation clinics to five sites throughout the state, and initiated telemedicine clinics for post-transplant patient care. IU Health has consistently been ranked among the top transplant programs in the nation.

“What I wanted to do is make a difference in our community and I was able to that through transplant. What I’m most proud of is the patients and people I worked with,” said Dr. Taber, who has been married to Cindy Taber since 1977. He’s also proud of another legacy – his four children. Elizabeth “Beth” Taber-Hight works as a nephrologist for IU Health; Daniel Taber is a dialysis technician; Mary Taber is an IU Health clinical transplant coordinator; and Katherine Kelly is a veterinarian.

The Tabers enjoy traveling – especially to England – and hope to resume their adventures soon. In the meantime, Dr. Taber continues seeing patients part time, tends to chickens and bees at his home and practices his skills as a licensed soccer coach.

“My daughter was 10 when my wife came home and said she signed me up to coach Mary’s team. I had never even seen a game so I quickly started learning about the sport,” said Taber. He went on to coach his other daughters, took a break, and now joins his daughter Mary in coaching one of his four grandchildren. When he’s not on the soccer field, he enjoys woodworking.

Dr. Taber was recognized for his dedication to IU Health during a surprise virtual celebration hosted by Dr. Jonathon Fridell, Chief of Abdominal Transplantation, and Dr. Asif Sharfuddin, who trained as a fellow under Dr. Taber and is the newly appointed medical director of the IU Health Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Program.

Dr. Tabor with Drs. Jonathon Fridell, Asif Sharfuddin, Dennis Mishler, Muhammad Yaqub, Oluwafisayo Adebiyi, and Melissa Anderson

Dr. Taber’s family members attended the celebration along with various team members including transplant nephrologists Dr. Dennis Mishler, Dr. Muhammad Yaqub, Dr. Oluwafisayo Adebiyi, and Dr. Melissa Anderson.

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