The National Kidney Foundation Honors U.S. Health and Human Services Administrator Dr. Suma Nair with Esteemed Public Service Award

SCM24 Pic Suma Nair

(April 15, 2024, New York, NY) — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is delighted to announce that Dr. Suma Nair is the recipient of this year's esteemed Public Service Award. Suma Nair, PhD, MS, RD, is the Associate Administrator for the Health Systems Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is recognized for her exceptional dedication to advancing health equity and improving access to care for historically underrepresented communities. This award will be presented to Dr. Nair at the annual NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) in Long Beach, CA, in May.

            "It is a great honor to be recognized by an organization that is dedicated to advancing health equity, which is a shared personal and professional passion of mine," expressed Dr. Nair. "This award sends a strong signal of patient and community support for HRSA’s efforts to modernize the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Everyone who needs a life-saving organ transplant should have the opportunity to have a high quality, patient-centered transplant with the shortest possible wait time."

           Dr. Nair's remarkable dedication to advancing health equity and improving access to care for medically underserved communities has earned her widespread recognition and admiration within the public health sector. With over two decades of exemplary service, Dr. Nair's leadership has been instrumental in advancing efforts to strengthen public health and health care systems by increasing access to organ and blood stem cell donation and transplantation. She has also driven initiatives aimed at facilitating vaccine and countermeasure injury compensation, and providing health care to individuals with, educating health care professionals about, and conducting research on Hansen’s disease (leprosy).

            Under Dr. Nair's guidance, HRSA has made significant strides in improving the performance of the OPTN, thereby ensuring timely and equitable access to life-saving transplants for those in need. Her visionary leadership aligns seamlessly with NKF's mission to advocate for patients and families affected by kidney disease.

            Dr. Nair will share her extensive insights on modernizing the United States transplant system during a session at the annual NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) on Thursday, May 16 from 2 - 3:30 pm (PDT) entitled, Our Collective Responsibility to Improve Kidney Transplants: The Collaborative Work of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

            NKF President Sylvia Rosas, MD, MSCE, stated, "Dr. Nair has worked tirelessly to help those in need of life-saving organ transplants by leading programs that improve access to care and strengthen public health and health care systems, so she is very deserving of NKF’s prestigious Public Service Award. NKF is a strong voice for the needs of patients and families, and we know that Dr. Nair shares our concerns and vision including supporting efforts to modernize the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network system. We look forward to our continued collaboration on behalf of all those individuals waiting for a kidney transplant.”

            Dr. Nair's distinguished career trajectory includes leadership roles in various healthcare spheres, including program evaluation, performance improvement, and public health administration. Her academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Nutrition, a Master of Science degree in Public Health Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park.

            “While the organ transplant system has experienced significant growth over the past several years, there are still several important opportunities to improve the system to increase timely, equitable access to transplants. It is a privilege to work alongside dedicated professionals who want to improve the system on behalf of patients.”

            The annual NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) will be held in Long Beach, CA, from May 14 – 18.


NKF Spring Clinical Meetings

For the past 32 years, nephrology healthcare professionals from across the country have come to NKF’s Spring Clinical Meetings to learn about the newest developments related to all aspects of nephrology practice; network with colleagues; and present their research findings. The NKF Spring Clinical Meetings is designed for meaningful change in the multidisciplinary healthcare teams’ skills, performance, and patient health outcomes. It is the only conference of its kind that focuses on translating science into practice for the entire healthcare team. 

About Kidney Disease

In the United States, more than 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Black or African American people are about four times as likely as White people to have kidney failure. Hispanics experience kidney failure at about double the rate of White people.

NKF Professional Membership

Healthcare professionals can join NKF to receive access to tools and resources for both patients and professionals, discounts on professional education, and access to a network of thousands of individuals who treat patients with kidney disease. 

About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit