CDC Epidemiologist to Receive National Kidney Foundation's Public Service Award

Nilka Ríos Burrows will be honored at the 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings
New York, NY - May 7, 2019 - Each year the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) considers the work of hundreds of specialists in the field of nephrology and selects among them those who most exemplify the relentless efforts of NKF to enhance the lives of patients through action, education and accelerating change.
The Public Service Award is given to someone who has dedicated their career to public service and has helped shape public policies or government programs that improve outcomes for kidney patients. The 2019 award will be presented to Nilka Ríos Burrows, MPH, for her work at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Burrows is an epidemiologist in the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC. She joined the agency in 1992 and the Division of Diabetes in 1997. Since 2016, she has led CDC’s Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Initiative, collaborating with partners on surveillance, epidemiology and cost-effectiveness studies to develop public health strategies to promote kidney health.  Rios Burrows also manages the CKD Surveillance System and coordinates development of educational materials to increase awareness about the burden of kidney disease and prevention efforts in the U.S.
 “Nilka Rios Burrows has greatly advanced NKF’s goals of eliminating all preventable chronic kidney disease and improving the lives of patients who already have CKD,” said Dr. Holly Kramer, President of the National Kidney Foundation. “We are grateful for people like Nilka, who dedicate their lives to such noble work and make such a large impact on our society and the overall community of kidney patients.”
As a member of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation’s Surveillance Team, Rios Burrows  conducted public health surveillance of diabetes and its complications nationwide and worked with the Indian Health Service’s Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention on diabetes and kidney disease surveillance among Native Americans – a population that experienced a 50% drop in the rate of new cases of diabetes-related end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from 1996 to 2013. She also collaborated with NKF on CKD Health Evaluation Risk Information Sharing (CHERISH), a community-based screening demonstration project that successfully resulted in identifying people with CKD and poor control of risk factors.  Rios Burrows received awards for bringing national attention to diabetes and obesity in youth.
”This award is a tremendous honor to me and my amazingly talented and committed team and partners,” Rios Burrows said.  “I look forward to continuing our collective efforts to reduce the impact of kidney disease on the nation and to improve the quality of life for those affected by it.”
Rios Burrows has authored or coauthored more than 80 publications, including several that explore racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes and kidney failure.
NKF Spring Clinical Meetings
For the past 27 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.  This year’s Spring Clinical Meetings will be held May 8-12 in Boston, MA.
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. 
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.  People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 times more likely than whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit