Arif Kamal, (M.D. ’05) was recognized as the 2023 UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award winner during the university’s Alumni Awards ceremony on March 10 at the Plexpod Westport Commons in Kansas City.
The American Cancer Society hired Kamal, the school’s 2019 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award winner, as its first chief patient officer last December to implement the society’s patient support vision and strategic plan to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.
Kamal oversees the organization’s cancer support, patient navigation, educational programs, patient lodging solutions, transportation services, contact center and digital patient support offerings. He also handles all aspects of organizational functions that touch cancer patients across 5,000 communities around the globe.
Prior to joining the American Cancer Society, Kamal served for more than 12 years as an oncologist, researcher and innovative leader at Duke University and the Duke Cancer Institute. He is an associate professor of Medicine and Population Health at the Duke University School of Medicine, and recently served as physician quality and outcomes officer at the Duke Cancer Institute.
Kamal is a nationally recognized expert in oncology quality assessment and palliative care. He co-founded Prepped Health, a company that develops innovative technology solutions to educate and engage patients facing a serious illness, such as cancer, and their caregivers. He has several leadership positions within prestigious national professional organizations, has won numerous awards and is a prolific author.
After receiving his medical degree from the UMKC’s six-year combined B.A./M.D. program, he completed his residency and a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and Duke University. He holds a master’s degree in health science in clinical research from Duke University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.
Kamal lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and two young children.
The UMKC Alumni Awards ceremony is one of the university’s largest events to support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for UMKC students.