Kidney Patient Advocate Receives First-Ever Patient Engagement Award from National Kidney Foundation

Orlando, FL—April 17, 2017—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 from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) at its 26th annual Spring Clinical Meetings held in Orlando, Florida from April 18-22, 2017. 
 
The Celeste Castillo Lee Patient Engagement Award was established in honor of Celeste Castillo Lee, a longtime advocate for patient-centered care and empowerment. It is the highest honor given by National Kidney Foundation 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. 
 
The recipient of the award, Derek Forfang from 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. Derek’s late grandfather, mother and father each had kidney disease.
“Derek has long been a great champion for kidney disease patients,” said Michael Choi, MD, President and Chair, NKF Scientific Advisory Board.  “Whether he’s advocating on Capitol Hill for legislation to protect living organ donors and increase funding for research, or volunteering to help other transplant and dialysis patients like himself, his dedication to all those affected by kidney disease is nothing short of inspiring.”
 
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.  Derek is very active with The National Forum of ESRD Networks, which advocates for the organizations that monitor the quality of chronic kidney disease, dialysis and kidney transplant care in the U.S.  He chairs its Kidney Patient Advisory Council, just one of a handful of his leadership roles there. He is also serving on the Kidney Health Initiative’s Patient Committee for the Development of a Roadmap for Innovations in Renal Placement Therapy (RPT) Project.
 
“It is such an honor to receive the first Celeste Castillo Lee Patient Engagement Award,” said Derek Forfang.  “Celeste demonstrated how patient advocacy can effect meaningful change in the patient experience of care and improve the quality of our lives.  The motivating force of her advocacy will carry on in our patient community.”  Mr. Forfang is also co-chair of the NKF PCOR Stakeholders’ Conference, taking place at the 2017 Spring Clinical Meetings on Saturday, April 22nd from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
 
For the past 26 years, nephrology healthcare professionals from across the country have come to the NKF 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 diseaseFor more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org