In Memoriam

SVU extends our deepest condolences to the colleagues and families of each of these distinguished professionals. Their achievements impacted our profession, improved the care of vascular patients and made the world a better place.


Kathy Palmieri, RN RVT FSVU
SVU member Kathy Palmieri, RN RVT FSVU, passed away peacefully on November 13th, 2018, at the age of 66. Kathy received her nurse's training at St. Mary's Hospital in Philadelphia, and in 1980 after almost a decade of nursing, switched her focus to vascular ultrasound. She was the first person in Upstate New York to pass the RVT exam, and set up the vascular laboratory at Upstate Medical Center. In 1995, she established her own corporation to provide consultation servicse to physicians and hospitals, with a focus on guiding them through the accreditation process for their vascular and echocardiography laboratories. During her almost 40 years of work as an RVT, Kathy helped people throughout the entire United States. An active member in the SVU community, she was designated an SVU Fellow in 2008, and most recently served on the SVU Professional Performance Guidelines Committee.


Donald W. Baker, BSEE
SVU member and supporter Don Baker, BSEE, passed away on February 27, 2018. Don was an internationally recognized luminary who applied his knowledge of radar signals acquired during his Air Force service to the development of pulsed Doppler technology used in nearly every duplex ultrasound instrument used today. His pioneering work in the field of Doppler ultrasound led to the development and ultimate production of the first commercial Doppler for medical use. Most SVU members have used instrumentation developed by ATL (Advanced Technology Laboratories), which he co-founded. Don was recognized for his lifelong contributions to the field of diagnostic ultrasound with SVU’s highest recognition, the Pioneer Award, in 2000, and was similarly honored by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) in 1987.

Longtime member Claudia Benge, RVT RDCS RDMS RVS FSVU, passed away on September 4, 2017. Claudia joined the SVU in 1985, serving on the Board of Directors from 2003-2005.  She also contributed greatly to various committees throughout her 32 years as a member. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Society in 2009 when she was inducted as an SVU Fellow.   Her colleagues will fondly remember Claudia for her charming smile and warm greetings.

Alan Hirsch, MD MSVM
Dr. Hirsch was a pioneer in the field of vascular medicine. After studying at Harvard and UCSF, he went on to serve as a Professor of Medicine and director of the Vascular Medicine Program of the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota. He was deeply dedicated to improving public health. Among numerous leadership roles, he was a founding member and past-President of the Society for Vascular Medicine.

Jane Horne, RVT

Jane Horne RVT died at the end of June, 2017. With Dr. Manly Stallworth, Jane started the vascular lab at Roper Hospital, Charleston SC in 1959 and stayed at Roper for 33 years, retiring in 1992. A Charter member of our Society, she was elected to be the third President, serving 1980-81. Jane was a respected faculty member at many seminars, including London, UK in 1981 and the vascular ultrasound course at Wake Forest University, Winston Salem for several years. With Dr. Stallworth, in the early 1980’s, Jane organized what became the annual Roper vascular symposium. These emerged as one of the ‘must go-to’ meetings for many techs, physicians and other researchers.

Jane and Ben were married for 67 years, had one daughter and 4 boys (3 as triplets!). She and Ben were very active at St. James Church on James Island and she was a Board member of St. James cancer support group. (She was treated for lung cancer in 1992, was pronounced cancer-free, a claim to fame being that she was the 8th patient to be treated with Cyber Knife radiation). Many SVU members will remember Jane fondly for her honesty and ability to treat everyone with her old-world southern charm.

Richard Kempczinski, MD FACS

Worked in one of the His interest in the vascular diagnostic laboratory began during his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he worked in one of the first clinically active laboratories of its kind in the United States. Over the span of his career, he made numerous contributions to the vascular literature including his popular monograph, Practical Noninvasive Vascular Diagnosis. He helped establish the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Diagnostic Laboratories and served as its second President. In 2002, he received the Pioneer Award from the Society for Vascular Technology for his contributions to this field of study.

Professor Peter Wells CBE

Peter was one of the most well-known and highly regarded figures in the world of medical ultrasound. He pioneered the development of ultrasonics as a diagnostic and surgical tool, which revolutionized clinical practice around the world. He also received the SVU Pioneer Award in 1994.