For more than 40 years, H. Jorge Baluarte, MD, has dedicated his professional life to the care of children with kidney disease, with clinical expertise and research activities focusing on chronic kidney disease, kidney transplantation, nephrotic syndrome, and hypertension. As Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant and Dialysis Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for the past 18 years, Dr. Baluarte has made a transformative impact on the field of nephrology and on CHOP.
It is with regret but warm wishes that we announce Dr. Baluarte’s retirement. We would like to take a moment to honor his innumerable contributions.
Dedication to teaching the next generation of leaders
In addition to his research and clinical work, Dr. Baluarte has been a dedicated and beloved teacher, training some of the most outstanding pediatric nephrologists in the country and abroad. Many of his former nephrology fellows are leaders in the field, due in no small part to his leadership, his generous sharing of his knowledge and experience, and his love of nephrology.
Dr. Baluarte’s dedication to teaching has reached beyond the borders of the United States. He moved from Peru to pursue his career more than 52 years ago, but he’s never forgotten his home country. He has returned every few years to provide specialized training in kidney transplantation to local pediatricians and medical students. He established a clinical observership at CHOP to provide learning opportunities in nephrology for medical students, residents, fellows and faculty from Peru.
Recap of a lifelong career
Over his career, Dr. Baluarte has authored numerous scientific publications and textbook chapters, and has served as a peer reviewer in top journals. In addition to his work in Peru, he has shared his research and clinical experience at national and international conferences in Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Dr. Baluarte received his undergraduate degree from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and his medical degree from Facultad de Medicina, San Fernando, both in Lima, Peru. He completed residencies in Peru and at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and a fellowship in pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital before becoming a pediatric nephrology fellow, first at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago and later at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where he served as Chief of the Kidney Center. He practiced at St. Chris for 29 years and oversaw more than 500 kidney transplants before being recruited to lead the Kidney Transplant Program at CHOP. During his time here, he has cared for hundreds of patients, many of whom have come from afar for care.
“To finish my career at CHOP, the No. 1 institution, is a dream come true,” he says.
Dr. Baluarte has enjoyed his career, most notably helping children thrive and go on to high school and college and lead fruitful lives.
“We all know transplantation works and that it is a chance for a second life,” says Dr. Baluarte. “But to witness the transformation it makes to a child’s life is something else.”
He hopes researchers continue to advance discovery into the ideal immunosuppressive medicines to ensure a child has a kidney for as long as possible with as few side effects as possible.
In retirement, he plans to visit family in Lima, take carpentry lessons, cook more, play his guitar, visit his children and grandchildren, and do volunteer work.
“That will keep me quite occupied,” he says.
Excellence in pediatric care
In 2018, the National Kidney Foundation recognized his outstanding work in the promotion of kidney health and the fight against kidney disease throughout his career by honoring him with the organization’s Excellence in Pediatric Care Award. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently established the H. Jorge Baluarte, MD, International Training and Education Fund for Physicians in Pediatric Nephrology to continue Dr. Baluarte’s legacy of generosity as a teacher, ensuring international physicians can participate in specialized and advanced learning opportunities that enable them to better help children with kidney disease.
To donate to the H. Jorge Baluarte, MD, International Training and Education Fund for Physicians in Pediatric Nephrology, visit chop.donordrive.com/campaign/Baluarte.