Anthony Rejent, M.D., was recently selected as the St. Louis Business Journal's Health Care Hero in the Lifetime Achievement category.
Dr. Rejent recently completed a 40-year career as Director of the Cystic Fibrosis team at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. Of the 120 CF centers across the United States, none has had a leader with the longevity of Dr. Rejent.
For many years, Dr. Rejent was the only Cardinal Glennon physician caring for CF patients, meaning that he was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. His dedication to these children and their families led them to be more informed about their condition, more compliant with treatment plans and more hopeful for the future.
When Dr. Rejent began his work in the late 1960s, most cystic fibrosis patients did not live to high school age. The median survival age for CF patients is now in the mid 30s, largely through the treatment, teaching and research of physicians like Dr. Rejent.
In a congratulatory message, Dr. Preston Campbell, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, estimated that Dr. Rejent’s work has added more than 10,000 patient years to the lives of the children he has treated at SSM Cardinal Glennon.
As Dr. Rejent told a group that had assembled to honor his 40 years of service: "The first two decades were tough, but the next two decades were better because there was hope as life expectancy grew longer. When you do what you love and can make a living at it, you’re probably the luckiest person in the world."
Dr. Rejent will continue as a member of the pulmonary team at Cardinal Glennon, and as a pediatrician at Shriners Hospital for Children, where he has worked for 17 years.
Dr. Rejent’s dedication, leadership and longevity make him a truly shining example of a Health Care Hero. Congratulations, Dr. Rejent!