Merle L. Clarkejdonner
Pioneer Award: ISN North America & the Caribbean region
The ISN Pioneer Awards honor the ‘unsung heroes’ of nephrology: doctors who have made extraordinary efforts to advance nephrology in a specific country or region. Without their dedication, nephrology would be far behind its current state in their home country.
Dr. Merle L. Clarke obtained her medical degree from the University of Medical Sciences, Camaguey, Cuba, in 2007. She completed postgraduate studies in nephrology in 2013, becoming Saint Lucia’s first indigenous nephrologist.
Since returning to her beloved Island, Saint Lucia, a place she truly considers paradise on earth, Dr. Clarke has focused on practicing clinical nephrology. Given the significant social, psychological, biological, and financial toll that chronic kidney disease (CKD) has on individuals, families and communities, she campaigns for CKD prevention and healthier lifestyles. She has also lobbied successfully for increased access to kidney replacement therapy for her fellow citizens.
Dr. Clarke is multilingual. She is a member of numerous internal societies, including a distinguished fellow of the American Society of Nephrology, patron of the Saint Lucia Renal Association, member of the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association, and the Saint Lucia Cancer Society. She is president of the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) and host of the SLMDA-produced medical program HEALTHWISE, which aims to educate and sensitize the general public on a wide range of medical issues.
Dr. Clarke is also an avid sports fan, principally cricket, football, and tennis, and a firm believer in the importance of and the need for regional integration.
Commenting on her award, she states, “I am infinitely humbled to be receiving this award. It indeed goes to show that with teamwork, dedication, and determination to serve others, anything is possible.”