Recognition & Awards
Professional Council Awards
A 16th century seer, Nostradamus has long been portrayed as someone who could see into the future. This award will be given annually to an individual or organization that, through forethought and vision, recognizes and promotes the contributions of advanced practitioners in nephrology.
John Bower, MD
John Bower, MD, came to the University Medical Center in Mississippi (UMC) in 1965 when dialysis was in its infancy. At the time, dialysis was effective, but expensive and few could afford it.
Dr. Bower had the opportunity to work with Dr. David M. Hume and Dr. Belding H. Scribner, two of the great names in nephrology, which then became his passion and his life work.
The first dialysis center in the state of Mississippi opened in 1966, due to Dr. Bower’s efforts. He worked tirelessly to bring dialysis to all who needed it and was one of the driving forces behind the legislation in 1972 which extended Medicare to dialysis patients. To this day, ESRD is the only chronic disease covered under Medicare.
With dialysis affordable, Dr. Bower then turned his attention to accessibility. Under his leadership, Kidney Care, Inc. was established with the goal of having a dialysis unit within twenty miles of every dialysis patient’s home. Within 23 years, dialysis units were located in 22 Mississippi cities.
Early on, Dr. Bower recognized the value of the advanced practitioner. He hired Harriett G. Williamson (Mississippi’s first advanced practice nurse in Nephrology) for his team. Ms. Williamson is a local legend in Mississippi; she supported and fought for her patients, taught nurses and advanced practitioners to care for dialysis patients, and provided high-quality medical care to dialysis patients.
After retirement, Dr. Bower created The Bower Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization which financially supports initiatives to improve quality healthcare for Mississippians. The Bower Foundation supports the education of Nephrology Nurse Practitioners in Mississippi via the Harriet Williamson Chair of Nephrology Nursing UMC School of Nursing. Its purpose is to support education and research directly benefitting the kidney disease and dialysis patients of Mississippi. Additionally, the Foundation supports the annual Renal Update conference for advanced practitioners, and also championed the development of an Advanced Practice Nurse-driven Telehealth emergency system in Mississippi.
TIM POOLE MEMORIAL AWARD
This award was established in honor of Tim Poole, PAC, who passed away in 2008. Tim was an exceptional clinician and incredible human being who dedicated his life to the care and well-being of CKD patients and their families. The Tim Poole Memorial Award will be given to a CAP member who follows in Tim’s footsteps and demonstrates the qualities that made him so outstanding.
Kim Zuber, MS, PA-C
Kim Zuber, MS, PA-C, began her career as a molecular biologist and a high school teacher. A native of California, she now practices with Metropolitan Nephrology in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Prior to working in nephrology, she was a PA in Ob-Gyn and orthopedics.
Ms. Zuber was the first Chair of the National Kidney Foundation Council of Advanced Practitioners (NKF-CAP) and also serves on the CME committees for the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). In 2004, the NKF Serving the National Capitol Area honored Ms. Zuber with its Volunteer Award. In 2008, AAPA recognized her as a Distinguished Fellow. In addition, she has served as an officer of the American Academy of Nephrology Physician Assistants, and is involved in the Virginia Association of Physician Assistants and the Maryland Association of Physician Assistants.
When NKF-CAP was created in 2007, there were few organizations which brought all advanced practitioners together. Under Ms. Zuber’s leadership, what began as the vision of five APs developed into an NKF Professional Council with now more than 300 members. One of her passions is creating awareness and recognition of APs as providers, patient advocates and participants in projects which advance the profession. CAP now has a quarterly column in Nephrology News and Issues and a bimonthly column in Clinician Reviews, which both discuss issues specific to APs working with kidney patients. In addition, CAP is the renal resource for Clinical Advisor. When kidney disease education became reimbursable in 2011, Ms. Zuber directed CAP in preparing materials for distribution. One year after implementation, she designed and disseminated a survey to assess how practices were implementing their education. The results were published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease. In addition, she has designed two nephrology AP salary and benefit surveys and published their results.
Those who work with Kim Zuber are impressed by her energy, her creativity and her passion.
Heather Conard, RN, BSN, CNN
Heather Conard has been professionally committed to the nephrology community for more than 15 years. She has served as an educator, team leader and preceptor for many nephrology nurses and technicians, and is currently employed as an Education Coordinator for Fresenius Medical Care in Chicago, IL. She has been an advocate for professionals in Nephrology by promoting continuing education and certification. She has served three consecutive terms as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Illinois CNNT Chapter (ICNNT) and is currently serving as the Chairperson. While in office, the ICNNT thrived as only one of two CNNT local chapters under the NKF. Membership grew from around sixty to approximately two hundred nurses and dialysis technicians. Annually, she plans two all-day education meetings; she is currently organizing her sixteenth meeting. Heather has been a presenter at three of these meetings.
In her role as Education Coordinator, Ms. Conard serves as a mentor to new and current employees on a daily basis. She teaches new staff a five week theory class and is actively involved at the clinic level, ensuring current staff are striving for clinical excellence. Heather also serves as the preceptor in her own department, training new Education Coordinators in her region.
ROBERT W. WHITLOCK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The CNSW Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of Robert W. Whitlock, MSSW, MHA, LCSW, Director of the Missouri Kidney Program (MoKP), a leader in the kidney community, who passed away in 2008. Bob was a dedicated nephrology social worker and an outstanding contributor to research, teaching and clinical practice in nephrology social work.
Mike Cervantes, MA, MSW, LCSW, NSW-C
Mike Cervantes, MA, MSW, LCSW, NSW-C, stepped into his first dialysis unit 40 years ago. Since then, he has served as a social work supervisor, administrator, clinician, consultant, and mentor to hundreds, if not thousands, of other social workers. He has served on the CNSW Executive Committee and has been actively involved in elected positions in his local CNSW Chapter for many years. Mike has served on numerous professional conference planning committees and is also a highly-rated conference presenter. He serves on the ESRD Network Board of Directors and Medical Review Board and has been a member of the ESRD Network 18 Coalition. He has developed many educational materials for both patients and fellow nephrology social workers and has worked to encourage organ donation, especially within the Latino community in southern California. Mike is currently employed as a Regional Lead Social Worker for Fresenius in California’s Inland Empire.
This year, CNSW will present the Merit Award to two recipients, Jessica Zeman, APSW, MSW, NSW-C, and Julie Raether, LICSW.
Jessica Zeman, APSW, MSW, NSW-C
Jessica Zeman, APSW, MSW, NSW-C, is a nephrology social worker at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, WI. She has been a dialysis social worker for over six years, and during that time has been an active member of the nephrology social work community. Her accomplishments include serving as Co-Chair of her local Wisconsin CNSW Chapter, contributing as a Social Work Program Committee member for the annual NKF Spring Clinical Meetings, and participating as a planning committee member for the Allied Health Care Professional Symposium of 2012. She presented a poster at the World Congress of Nephrology in April 2011. Locally she has been active in implementing Motivational Interviewing within her hospital setting for all social workers and RN case managers. Ms. Zeman has pursued avenues with state representatives and contracted Medicaid transportation providers to make changes to the current system in order to meet the needs of dialysis patients.
Julie Raether, LICSW
Julie Raether, LICSW, is a renal social worker with DaVita in St. Paul, MN. She is the co-facilitator of a monthly kidney patient support group and also teaches nephrology social work to new nurses and technicians for the DaVita Prep program educating about the role of social work, conflict resolution and cultural diversity. She has presented a number of times on topics such as time management strategies and how to use the DaVita electronic medical record. She co-facilitated a memorial service to recognize patients that had died during the previous year. Ms. Raether has been active in her local CNSW Chapter in a variety of positions over the years. She has helped develop and promote professional nephrology education through her local CNSW chapter meetings and participation in the joint CNSW/CRN Partners in Practice educational conferences. She provides professional support and promotes professional development by mentoring new nephrology social workers and providing social work licensure supervision to those nephrology social workers seeking clinical licensure. She has also participated in and fundraised for the local NKF Kidney Walk for a number of years.
NEW WORKER AWARD
Savannah Rose, LMSW
Savannah Rose, LMSW, is a nephrology social worker with FMC in Dallas, TX. Almost immediately after entering the field, she became actively involved in her local CNSW Chapter. She became Chair of the Paratransit Committee for North Texas CNSW, and has also filled the role of Secretary and Vice Chair. She plans monthly speakers for the chapter, and as Paratransit Chair she attended meetings with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and has worked with the local Medicaid transportation provider to advocate on behalf of dialysis patients in the Dallas area. As stated in her nomination, “Savannah has more initiative than I have seen in years. Nothing is too daunting a task for her in terms of macro social work. She has a vision of what needs to be accomplished and moves forward to get it done.”
SOCIAL WORKER IN A TRANSPLANT SETTING
Ginny Korkko, MSW
Ginny Korkko, MSW, is a transplant social worker for the Transplant and Nephrology Clinic at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. She works with pre- and post-transplant kidney, pancreas, liver, lung and heart transplant patients. She has been actively involved with numerous NKF of Wisconsin activities, such as the U.S. Transplant Games in 2008 and 2010, and has spoken at a number of community education conferences. She has also presented at various forums within Froedtert Hospital. Most recently, Ms. Korkko acted as panel moderator for a discussion entitled “Transplant Evaluation: What Patients Need to Know and What They Can Expect.” She presented the latest information on research, treatment and dietary concerns at the NephCure Foundation conference, and also provided a platform for attendees to meet and share experiences with others facing the devastating effects of Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS.
SOCIAL WORKER IN A PEDIATRIC SETTING
Sarah Henderson, LMSW
Sarah Henderson, LMSW, is a nephrology social worker at The Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO. At her hospital, she was a co-investigator for original research related to transition planning for those patients transferring from pediatric care into adult care. She has been actively involved in assisting with transition planning for these patients in her area. Ms. Henderson’s co-workers highlight her ability to work effectively with a variety of very difficult patient and family situations. She is creative in her problem-solving and is able to find appropriate resources where others have been unsuccessful. Her team considers her a very effective advocate for and liaison to families who are navigating a complex medical care system.
REGIONAL SOCIAL WORKER AWARD - REGION 3
Kathryn Aebel-Groesch, LCSW
Kathryn Aebel-Groesch, LCSW, is a divisional Lead Social Worker with DaVita in St. Louis, MO. She has been an active member of her local CNSW chapter, taking on roles such as Membership Chair, Secretary and Professional Development Committee member. She has planned retreats for fellow nephrology social workers and collaborated with other professional development members to facilitate ethics training. She has taken a leadership role in training new nephrology social workers. She was a member of the Symptom Targeted Intervention (STI) work group and continues to demonstrate her ability to think practically and with innovation during the practice outcome evaluation and subsequent review of the results. With recent changes in Missouri interpretations of Medicaid rules, Ms. Aebel-Groesch was a leader in advocating for the rights of dialysis and transplant patients. Her calm, thoughtful and tenacious work on behalf of the field of nephrology social work and her patients has made her a rock for those around her.
REGIONAL SOCIAL WORKER AWARD - REGION 5
Arlene Antonoff, LCSW, BCD
Arlene Antonoff, LCSW, BCD, is a nephrology social worker with DaVita in Los Angeles, CA. She has been a nephrology social worker since 1984, and, as a Divisional Lead, coordinates a region of social workers and establishes social work national policy and leadership. She has hired and mentored hundreds of nephrology social workers, and created a shift of focus to the unique and instrumental interventions the discipline brings in terms of contributing to positive patient outcomes. She has been an active member of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of CNSW since the late 1980s, holding various positions. She was recognized by her peers in 1988 as Social Worker of the Year by receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award for all her many contributions. In 1990, she received the Allied Health Professional of the Year award from the California NKF affiliate, and in 1992 she received the national Merit Award from CNSW. Ms. Anotonoff has written numerous articles and presented many times, in addition to being a past recipient of a CNSW research grant.
REGIONAL SOCIAL WORKER AWARD - REGION 5
Felipe Amaya, MSW, LCSW
Felipe Amaya, MSW, LCSW is a Regional Lead Social Worker for Renal Advantage in Fontana, CA. He recently completed three consecutive two-year terms as Chapter Chair for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of CNSW. During his tenure, the chapter grew significantly in terms of membership and meeting attendance. In his current job, he oversees numerous dialysis social workers and provides supervision to pre-licensed MSWs. He has been actively involved in professional development. As a bicultural and bilingual social worker, he has presented on cultural awareness for the NKF Serving Southern California’s annual Scientific Symposium. He also develops professional education for nephrology social workers nationwide. He is now Chair of the Inland Empire Chapter of CNSW
SUSAN B. KNAPP EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD
Maureen McCarthy, MPH, RD, CSR, LD
Apart from seven years early in her career when she enjoyed working in WIC Programs in California, Maureen McCarthy, MPH, RD, CSR, LD, has spent most of her professional life in renal nutrition. She first worked with adult dialysis patients and now sees transplant patients at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, OR.
After completing her BS at Cornell, she completed a dietetic internship at University of California, San Francisco. She later earned her MPH at UC-Berkeley. She has held a variety of positions at OHSU since arriving in Oregon in the early 90s, including posts with the Dietetic Internship while it was housed in the School of Medicine. In addition to her work, currently Ms. McCarthy is enrolled in a Medical Ethics Fellowship in the School of Medicine at OHSU.
Her research interests include transplant nutrition (duties of transplant dietitians; impact of obesity in kidney transplant candidates) and she has presented posters at recent Food & Nutrition Conference & Expos (FNCE) sessions and NKF Spring Clinical Meetings. Her publications include two series in Renal Nutrition Forum, one regarding rehabilitation in patients with kidney failure and the second regarding the Nutrition Care Process (NCP) for renal dietitians. Other articles of hers have appeared in professional newsletters and peer-reviewed journals.
In addition to presentations for OHSU dietetic interns, Ms. McCarthy speaks often at regional and national meetings. Topics include renal and transplant nutrition, herbal medications in kidney failure, the nutrition-focused physical examination (NFPE), and the NCP. Each spring, she teaches a 3-credit course to masters students on the NFPE, which includes classroom presentations and ward rounds.
Ms. McCarthy chairs Oregon’s Board of Licensed Dietitians. In 2012, she was recognized as Oregon Outstanding Dietitian of the Year.
RECOGNIZED RENAL DIETITIAN - REGION V
Jacque Beyrami, MS, RD, CSR
Jacque Beyrami, MS, RD, CSR, has worked extensively in the field of renal nutrition throughout Region V. She has been involved with the Northern Arizona CRN Chapter since 1998, serving as Chair, Co-Chair, and on various committees, such as the education committee. She has been instrumental in facilitating meetings, assisting with the KEEP program and continuing to enhance creativity in achieving outcomes for the region. She has served as a member of the Patient Services Committee for the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona and has continued to work with the management of renal bone disease in CKD stages 3, 4, and 5.