New Leadership for National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (January, 2008) - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has named Michael Rocco, M.D. MSCE, as the new chair of the foundation's Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI). Adeera Levin, M.D., FRCPC, KDOQI chair since 2002, completed her term in December. Under Rocco's guidance, KDOQI will expand its efforts to improve outcomes for patients with kidney disease through a broader range of activities.

Highlights of Levin's five-year term as chair included publication of new KDOQI guidelines on bone disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in dialysis patients, and diabetes; she was also instrumental in refining KDOQI's approach to evidence rating and grading of guideline recommendations. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, NKF will present Levin with its Garabed Eknoyan Award at the Spring Clinical Meetings in April.

'It has been a privilege to work with Adeera on KDOQI activities these past four years. She has been untiring in her work in refining and augmenting the KDOQI process and has been instrumental in expanding the KDOQI guidelines to other areas of chronic kidney disease. I wish her all the best in her ongoing and future endeavors in nephrology,' said Dr. Rocco.

Rocco, who has previously served as KDOQI vice chair and co-chair of the KDOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines on Hypertension and Antihypertensive Agents in Chronic Kidney Disease, will oversee KDOQI efforts in new areas including directed research, public policy and conferences on controversial topics in CKD care. "Mike Rocco brings a wealth of experience that will serve NKF and KDOQI well as we move beyond guideline development into a new focus on guideline implementation," said NKF President, Allan Collins, M.D. "Keeping twelve guidelines up to date while creating new programs will be a challenge, but we are confident that with his leadership KDOQI will have even greater impact than it has today."

A member of the faculty of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine since 1991, Rocco currently holds the Vardaman M. Buckalew Jr Chair in Nephrology. He has served as the clinical center Principal Investigator at Wake Forest for several NIH trials, including the HEMO Study, the Acute Renal Failure Trial Network, the Dialysis Access Consortium, and the Frequent Hemodialysis Network. He was also a workgroup member of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ESRD Clinical Performance Measures Quality Improvement Committee and served as the Chair of the peritoneal dialysis subcommittee.

"What KDOQI has accomplished owes a great deal to Adeera Levin's expert guidance and commitment to improving patient care," said John Davis, CEO of NKF. "NKF is proud to have had such distinguished leadership of this signature program, and grateful that Dr Rocco will continue this tradition."

Levin will continue to be involved with KDOQI in a consulting capacity.

About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, influencing public policy in support of the kidney community and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

About KDOQI
KDOQI expands the Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative or DOQI, a project begun by the National Kidney Foundation in 1995 and recognized throughout the world for improving the care of dialysis patients. For more information, please visit www.kdoqi.org or call (800) 622-9010.