The Brigham community mourns the loss of Rebecca Kibazo-Gasque, appointments administrator for Faculty Affairs in the Department of Medicine, who died Sept. 9 following an illness. She was 66.
A member of the Brigham community for five years, Ms. Kibazo-Gasque played an essential role in onboarding hundreds of faculty, fellows and residents in the Department of Medicine. She oversaw the process for clinical and academic appointments, credentialing and promotions, and she helped physicians and researchers across multiple divisions navigate the complex preparation of materials, timelines and other procedures.
Ms. Kibazo-Gasque “truly loved and believed in her work, and approached every day with good humor, an eagerness to learn and the willingness to lend a helping hand,” several Department of Medicine leaders expressed in a message to faculty and staff.
“The nature of her role demanded a sharp focus and keen attention to detail, earning her the nickname ‘Hawkeye’ from a close colleague, Nancy Beattie,” wrote Colleen Curry, executive administrator, Nicole Casey, senior administrative director for Academic Affairs, and John Spiers, senior manager for Faculty Affairs. “Because of her work, these physicians and scientists are able to care for patients, conduct innovative research, teach and learn, and serve our communities. Her patience made her a great teacher, and we know many benefited from her mastery of the appointment process.”
Maura Haverty, faculty affairs and fellowship coordinator for Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, reflected on how Ms. Kibazo-Gasque went out of her way to help others with unwavering kindness, patience and authenticity.
“When I started in my current role in 2019, Rebecca took me under her wing and met with me to go over the entire appointment process. Since day one, Rebecca was a huge support to me, and we would speak weekly if not daily,” Haverty said. “Rebecca always stayed patient with me as I learned the ins and outs of the appointment process. Sometimes, she would just call to check in on me.”
Ms. Kibazo-Gasque was also cherished by colleagues for her bright spirit, contagious laugh and genuine warmth.
“From the start, Rebecca exhibited a confident and colorful personality with an eagerness to learn. She was a great team player — always willing to jump in and help,” said Torria Barkley-Joyner, credentialing administrator for Faculty Affairs. “She was a compassionate person who sincerely cared about others.”
Barkley-Joyner reflected on how Ms. Kibazo-Gasque opened her heart to friends and colleagues — lovingly sharing stories and news about her family, including the recent birth of her granddaughter, and cooking food native to her home country of Uganda. She would often bring in those delicious dishes for colleagues to enjoy.
Will Hammell, writer/editor for the Department of Medicine, said the joyfulness that Ms. Kibazo-Gasque radiated never failed to lift the spirits of those around her.
“Beyond her professionalism, the warmth and energy that she brought to our team will be deeply missed,” Hammell said. “She often rounded through our cubicle neighborhood, sharing funny stories and tasty snacks, and her hearty laugh and exuberant exclamations always enlivened our quiet corner of the office.”
Ms. Kibazo-Gasque’s zest for life was simply magnetic, agreed Katherine Vega, program manager for the Gastroenterology Fellowship in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy.
“Before the pandemic struck, I found myself visiting her at her cubicle to review letters and forms and came to realize how personable she was,” Vega said. “After this awful year in which we all were working remotely, we decided to communicate via phone so as not want to lose our one-on-one communication, which was so important to Rebecca and myself. Rebecca will be greatly missed.”
Ms. Kibazo-Gasque is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and Benjamin Marshall; her granddaughter, Maya Marshall; and many beloved siblings, extended family members and loved ones.