National Kidney Foundation Honors Leading Researchers, Clinicians, Patient Advocates and more at its 26th Annual Spring Clinical Meetings
Orlando, FL—April 20, 2017—Today, at the National Kidney Foundation’s 26th Annual Spring Clinical Meeting, the foundation bestowed its highest honors to some of the nation’s leading kidney disease researchers, clinicians, patient advocates, government officials and corporate partners. The awards will be presented this evening during the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting in Orlando, Florida held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel and Convention Center.
Richard J. Johnson, MD has been selected to receive the David M. Hume Memorial Award, it is the highest honor given to a distinguished scientist-clinician in the field of kidney and urologic diseases. It is bestowed upon an individual who exemplifies the high ideals of scholarship and humanitarianism in an outstanding manner. Dr. Johnson is the Tomas Berl Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Renal Division and Hypertension at the University of Colorado. He is a highly-cited scientist who has lectured in over 40 countries, has authored two books The Sugar Fix(2008) and theThe Fat Switch(2012), and whose research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Johnson’s primary research interest has been on mechanisms causing kidney disease, but he also has performed research on mechanisms causing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Shari M. Ling, MD has been selected to receive the first-ever Public Service Award from NKF, established to honor those who have dedicated their careers to public service and who have helped to shape public policies or government programs that improve outcomes for kidney patients. Dr. Ling currently serves as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Medical Officer in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ). In her role at CMS, she assists the CMS Chief Medical Officer in the agency's pursuit of better health care, healthier populations and smarter spending. Dr. Ling's committed focus is on the achievement of meaningful health outcomes for patients and families through the delivery of high quality, person-centered care, across all care settings. Her clinical focus and scientific interest is in the care of persons with dementia, multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations.
Derek Forfang, a kidney patient and long-time kidney disease advocate, has been selected to receive the first-ever Celeste Castillo Lee Patient Engagement Award, established in honor of Celeste Castillo Lee, a longtime advocate for patient-centered care and empowerment. It is the highest honor given by NKF to a distinguished kidney patient who exemplifies NKF's mission and Celeste's legacy of putting patients at the center of all aspects of healthcare through their involvement with NKF and community partners. Mr. Forfang, of San Pablo, California, has been an end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patient since 1999. He received a kidney transplant and has also been on peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis. A regional leader of NKF’s Kidney Advocacy Committee and a member of the Public Policy Committee, Derek has worked tirelessly to protect and improve care for the kidney community.
Merck been selected to receive the 2017 Corporate Innovator Award which recognizes industry partners that advance the field of nephrology by addressing an unmet medical need, or improving upon an existing practice, therapeutic or technology. Merck’s innovative new treatment for hepatitis C, ZEPATIER, is the only direct anti-viral agent specifically tested and approved for use in patients with chronic kidney disease stages four and five.
Paul Palevsky, MD has been selected to receive the Dr. J. Michael Lazarus Distinguished Award established to honor Dr. Lazarus for his major contributions to the clinical science and care of dialysis patients, and to recognize individuals whose research has yielded novel insights related to renal replacement therapy. Dr. Palevsky is Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science in the Renal-Electrolyte Division at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and serves as Chief of the Renal Section at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Palevsky’s research has primarily focused on acute kidney injury and critical care nephrology. He will be presenting the Lazarus lecture on “We Don’t Have to Fail at Acute Renal Failure: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Quality Improvement” on Friday, April 21st at 8:45 a.m. at the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings.
Susanne Nicholas, MD, MPH, PhD has been selected to receive the Medical Advisory Board Distinguished Service Award established to recognize an individual for their educational activities and community service in promoting the mission of NKF on a local level. Dr. Nicholas is a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA in the Division of Nephrology where she maintains her clinical responsibilities, and the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, where she conducts research. She is also a Clinical Hypertension Specialist. Dr. Nicholas’ research interests include understanding and identifying key factors that promote the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease (DKD); uncovering and validating novel biomarkers that may predict DKD progression; and quantifying renal structural changes associated with DKD in response to novel therapeutics, using stereology principles. Her research over the past 15 years has led to the identification of a novel biomarker of DKD, which is currently being validated in clinical studies.
Katherine R. Tuttle, MD, FASN, FACP, FNKF, has been selected to receive the prestigious Garabed Eknoyan Award, created to recognize an individual who has promoted the mission of NKF in Making Lives Better for people with kidney disease through the exceptional contributions to key initiatives of NKF such as the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) or clinical research in the field of kidney disease. Dr. Tuttle is the Executive Director for Research at Providence Health Care in Spokane, and serves as Co-Principal Investigator of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, Investigator at Kidney Research Institute, and Clinical Professor of Medicine for the University of Washington. Dr. Tuttle’s major research interests include diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, renal vascular disease, nutrition in chronic kidney disease, and transitional care. She has chaired numerous workgroups focused on diabetes and kidney disease including NKF’s KDOQI Workgroup for Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.
Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD has been selected to receive the Donald W. Seldin Award, established to recognize excellence in clinical nephrology in the tradition of one of the foremost teachers and researchers in the field, Dr. Donald W. Seldin. Dr. Himmelfarb is a Professor of Medicine, Director of the Kidney Research Institute, and holds the Joseph W. Eschbach, M.D. Endowed Chair in Kidney Research at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, has served on numerous grant review committees and scientific advisory boards and has held leadership positions in many national and international nephrology societies. Dr. Himmelfarb has served on expert panels for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Veterans Health Administration, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He is also a nephrologist who cares for patients with kidney disease, and an internationally recognized educator about kidney disease.
Raymond R. Townsend, MD has been selected to receive the Shaul G. Massry Distinguished Lecture Award, established to honor Dr. Massry for his scientific achievements and contribution to the kidney health care community and to NKF. Dr. Townsend is Professor of Medicine and an Associate Director of the Center for Human Phenomic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Principal Investigator evaluating the role of demographic, phenotypic, humoral and genetic factors in the progression of kidney disease and the development and progression of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. He was also the Principal Investigator of a multicenter effort evaluating the specific role of pulse wave velocity in the renal and cardiovascular consequences of chronic kidney disease. Dr. Townsend led the work group that wrote the KDOQI Commentary on the 2012 KDIGO Guideline on this subject, and most recently co-chaired the NKF workshop on Potassium Homeostasis in Disease and Health, the report on which will soon be published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease and Journal of the American Society of Hypertension.
Tilakavati Karupaiah, PhD, APD, AN has been selected to receive the Joel D. Kopple Award, an annual award honoring an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of renal nutrition. Dr. Karupaiah is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with Dietitian’s Association of Australia, a Professor and Head of the Dietetics Program at the National University of Malaysia; and also Adjunct Associate Professor at Wayne State University, Detroit. Dr. Karupaiah’s involvement in renal nutrition began because of a lack of dietitians in this field in Malaysia, and dialysis patients needed patient-friendly information about local diets. At the National University of Malaysia, she encouraged early exposure of dietetic students to renal patient care through community engagement, outpatient counseling and practical skills on patient diet planning. Dr. Karupaiah is now targeting capacity building mentorship for developing renal dietitians in Malaysia through nutrition research.
NKF Spring Clinical Meeting
For the past 26 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 are 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.
Kidney Disease Facts
1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. 26 million American adults have kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and age 60+. People of African American; Hispanic; Native American; Asian; or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 ½ times more likely, and Hispanics 1 ½ times more likely, to experience kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Full press releases on each award recipient, including quotes for attribution, are hyperlinked by recipient’s name and can also be found in the Newsroom at www.kidney.org.