Riverton Hospital

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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation, formerly the Deseret Foundation's Heart and Lung Research Foundation Honors LDS Church leader Dieter F. Uchtdorf Tonight Along With Utah Medical Pioneer

Jess Gomez

 (801) 507-7455



SALT LAKE CITY, UT (4/7/2011) – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is being honored with the Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation, formerly the Deseret Foundation's Heart and Lung Research Foundation’s Legacy of Life Award, given to eminent leaders with Utah ties for their contribution to the well-being of people everywhere.

In addition, the Foundation is honoring Elizabeth H. Hammond, MD, a pioneering physician and researcher at LDS Hospital, with the Legacy of Life Scientific Honoree Medallion, for her pioneering efforts in cardiac and pulmonary research, pathology, and electron microscopy. The award is a tribute to advancements in cardiovascular and pulmonary health, and is a special tribute to Dr. Hammond. Her pioneering efforts in research, pathology, and electron microscopy, and her superior scientific credentials, have benefited countless lives over her career.

Both will be honored tonight, Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 pm, at a benefit dinner at the Little America Hotel. NEWS MEDIA ARE INVITED.

The Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation, formerly the Deseret Foundation's Heart and Lung Research Foundation, which supports medical and scientific research at Intermountain Healthcare's Salt Lake Valley hospitals, gives the awards at an annual benefit dinner that raises funds to advance cardiovascular and pulmonary health, not only in Utah, but worldwide.

The Legacy of Life award was created in 1991 and first given to Dr. Homer R. Warner, a physician, scholar, and the father of medical informatics.

“It’s an honor to present this award to such a wonderfully talented and dedicated man,” says Legacy of Life committee chair Frank Madsen. “President Uchtdorf is gifted in so many ways. He’s been an influence on so many people throughout his career, and in his service with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But perhaps most important, he has been dedicated to his beautiful family and his wife, Harriet. His life has truly been a legacy — professionally, civically, religiously, and personally.”

President Uchtdorf. President Uchtdorf was born on November 6, 1940, in then Mährisch-Ostrau, Czechoslovakia, to Karl Albert and Hildegard Else Opelt Uchtdorf. He was raised in Zwickau, Germany. He studied engineering and later continued his education in business administration in Cologne, Germany, and international management in Lausanne, Switzerland. President Uchtdorf joined the German Air Force in 1959 and received his pilot wings in Big Spring, Texas, and fighter pilot training in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1965, President Uchtdorf joined Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot. He worked as an airline captain from 1970 to 1996, flying many types of airplanes and completing his career flying the B747. He held several executive positions, including head of the airline pilot school, director of in-flight services, and head of cockpit crews. At the time of his call as a general authority, he was the senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot of Lufthansa German Airlines. He was also chairman of the Flight Operations Committee of the International Air Transport Association. He has served as a board member for several government and business executive committees.

He has served as a general authority since April 1994, and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from August 2002 until his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2008.President Uchtdorf married Harriet Reich on December 14, 1962. They are the parents of two children and have six grandchildren.

Dr. Hammond. Dr. Elizabeth Hammond is professor of pathology and adjunct professor of internal medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine; medical director, Office of Research Affairs, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City. Dr. Hammond received her medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Early in her career, Dr. Hammond developed and ran the Electron Microscopy Laboratory at LDS Hospital, a specialized service providing pathologic examinations of cancer, transplant, cardiac and kidney tissue specimens. She’s spent thousands of hours in a dark room with a microscope that have lead to countless lives being improved and even saved.

“Dr. Hammond is a true pioneer in medicine,” says Dr. Greg Elliott, chair of the Department of Pulmonology at Intermountain Medical Center. “Her cumulative work in the field of pathology and electron microscopy as she’s worked toward treating cardiac disease is a tribute to her intellect and care for humanity.”

She is the author of 185 original articles, two books and 12 book chapters on subjects related to her research in cancer and transplantation pathology. Her research interests involve cardiac transplant rejection, and predictive cancer tests, and molecular genetic cancer tests. She is the past principal investigator or co-investigator on several National Institutes of Health-sponsored grants related to these interests and she’s lectured and taught courses around the globe on these subjects. Her research interests involve humorally mediated cardiac transplant rejection, and predictive cancer tests, including molecular genetic cancer tests.

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