George E Schreiner Memorial Services

Visitation:  Thursday,  4/26/2012     6:00pm - 8:00pm

      Adams-Green Funeral Home

      721 Elden Street, Herndon, VA    703-437-1764

Funeral Mass:  Friday,  4/27/ 12     12:30pm

           Holy Trinity Catholic Church

           3513 N St, NW, Washington, D.C. (Directions)

Reception:   Friday ,  4/27/12        2:15 pm - 5:00pm

       Georgetown University  Hotel and Conference Center, Salon H  (Directions)

       (The hotel is located inside the Leavey Center)

Dr. George E. Schreiner, a pioneering scientist who built the Georgetown School of Medicine into a world leader in the field of nephrology during a 36-year career there, and who in the 1970’s helped spearhead Federal funding of kidney dialysis legislation, died April 12, 2012 in Reston, VA.  Death followed a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  He was 89.

Born in Buffalo, New York, April 26, 1922, Dr. Schreiner attended both Canisius High School  and Canisius College, where he excelled in debate and drama  before graduating  magna cum laude in 1943.  

Dr. Schreiner attended Georgetown University as a Naval Ensign, earning his M.D. cum laude in 1946.  Dr. Schreiner pursued his internship at Boston City Hospital before embarking on a memorable three- year fellowship at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center, where he studied under legendary renal physiologist Homer W. Smith.  During his time in New York City, he married Joanne Baker whom he had met during high school in Buffalo, New York.

As the Korean War began, Schreiner completed his residency training at Washington’s Veterans Administration Hospital and then spent a year of military service at the Graduate School of Walter Reed Army Hospital.  His time in the Army included a stint in the Far East as part of a field medical research team investigating battlefield deaths associated with acute renal failure.  Dr. Schreiner joined a Georgetown University Medical School in 1951 that was in a post-war renaissance, with the nation’s second artificial kidney having been brought to the Georgetown University Hospital only a year earlier.  From the 1950s into the 1970s, Schreiner made Georgetown a world center for the study and treatment of kidney disease through his ability to demonstrate the successful dialysis of poisons and overdoses of sedatives and tranquilizers.   He was one of the nation’s pioneering clinical researchers in perfecting the technique of hemodialysis, employing the artificial kidney ,and in demonstrating its efficacy in significantly prolonging the lives of patients with end-stage renal disease.

In the 1960s, Schreiner launched the Georgetown Fellowship Program and personally contributed to the training of more than 150 nephrologists from all over the world.  A prolific writer, Schreiner and his colleagues wrote over 250 published articles and over 35 books and book chapters, and in the process, outlined basic mechanisms of human kidney disease. In the early 1970s, Schreiner spearheaded major legislation that resulted in the Federal Government’s support of dialysis and transplantation modalities through the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Medicare Program.  Federal payment for dialysis and organ transplants ensured that these life-saving procedures became available to people regardless of their ability to pay. 

 Said Preston Englert, Division President of the  National Kidney Foundation, “Dr. George Schreiner was an inspiration to all who had the opportunity to work with him.  His continuing role in development of the National Kidney Foundation medical research programs both locally and Nationally is still recognized today among health agencies.  The pioneering spirit and vision of Dr. Schreiner identified the need for added public education about Kidney disease and helped a fledgling organization create needed programs for families and those suffering from the early stages of kidney disease. “

Dr. Schreiner helped found, and served as President of, the most important organizations of the field of nephrology, including the American Society of Nephrology, the International Society of Nephrology, the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, and the National Kidney Foundation. He received numerous awards for his career accomplishments including the John Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology, the American heart Association’s Distinguished Service Medal, the David Hume Award  and President’s Award from the National Kidney Foundation, the Davidson Award from the D.C. Medical Society, and the Vicennial Medal from Georgetown University. It was during his term as President of the National Kidney Foundation that one of the Foundation’s initiatives was realized: the establishment of the Uniform Donor Card as a legal document for the donation of organs for transplantation after death.

In 1976, Schreiner received an honorary doctoral from Georgetown, and in 1981, Schreiner and his wife, Joanne, created the George E. Schreiner Chair of Nephrology at the University.  Schreiner became a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in 1987 when he stepped away from day-to-day responsibilities. 

Dr. Schreiner made a lifetime of contributions to Canisius College, where he served for many years on the Board, where the pre-medical center is named in his honor, and where the Dr. George E. Schreiner ’43 Family Pre-Medical Scholarship bears his name.  Schreiner took particular pride in those Schreiner Scholars who not only graduated from Canisius, but who then followed his path and attended Georgetown Medical School.

In his free time, Dr. Schreiner was a master gardener with a great passion for planting numerous gardens at his beloved Virginia home, Tallwood.  Dr. Schreiner’s primary devotion was time spent  with his large family,  particularly at the family summer home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Preceded in death in 2006 by Joanne, his beloved wife of 58 years, Dr. Schreiner leaves seven children; George, Mary, Meredith, William, Sara, Peter, and Lise.  An eighth child, Robert, died in infancy.  Dr. Schreiner also leaves 19 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way.


George’s last trip to the Outerbanks, North Carolina

The family has requested donations to the Music for the Mind program in lieu of flowers.  Music for the Mind supports research teams at Georgetown University seeking treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Music for the Mind Online Donations

University Gift Line:   202.687.1690

Music for the Mind

Georgetown University Medical Center

Office of Advancement

Suite 4000 - Music for the Mind

3300 Whitehaven Street, NW

Washington, DC 20057