In Memoriam: Remembering Joan Shepard Lustig

August 21, 2014

Remembering Joan Shepard Lustig

On August 21, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois lost a true champion - Joan Shepard Lustig.

Joan was the Executive Director of the foundation from the late 1970s until 1995. When the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois was struggling financially early in her tenure, Joan formed the Woman’s Board and subsequently the Gift of Life Gala, which is now celebrating its 29th year this December. This annual event has raised nearly $6 million since its inception.

She developed many initiatives including educational symposia for professionals, the foundation’s Research Grant Program and organ donation awareness initiatives. Additionally, the Medical Advisory Board (now known as the Professional Advisory Board) was formed under Joan's leadership, and she developed strong partnerships within the nephrology and transplant communities in Illinois. Upon leaving the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, she worked as a consultant for a number of organizations, including our national office in New York, where she was eventually hired as the National Kidney Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Field Development. While with the NKF, she served as the “troubleshooter”, liaison and friend to the Affiliates and was instrumental in the conversion of many of the Affiliates to the new Division model.

Joan dedicated more than 30 years of her life to the National Kidney Foundation and the legacy she leaves with us is indelible. To leave a message for Joan's family, visit the Guest Book & Memories page here.