Longtime Kidney Health Advocate to Receive National Kidney Foundation Award

March 23, 2020, New York, NY- 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 the NKF to enhance the lives of patients through action, education and accelerating change.
Their work is vital to the 37 million people who are affected by kidney disease and the 1 in 3 American adults who are at risk.
Among the prestigious awards presented will be the Garabed Eknoyan Award to Kerry Willis, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of NKF. The Garabed Eknoyan Award was created to recognize individuals who have promoted NKF’s mission to make lives better for people with kidney disease through their exceptional contributions to key NKF initiatives such as the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) or clinical research in the field of kidney disease.
The annual award is part of NKF’s Spring Clinical Meetings, which will be a Live-Virtual Meeting due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This necessary change will help ensure the safety of our patients, staff, volunteers and conference participants while still enabling NKF to provide the high-quality content SCM is known for in a new live-virtual format. 
“Kerry has dedicated much of her career to kidney health, advocacy and science,” said NKF President Holly Kramer, MD. “She is responsible for so much of the advances in kidney medicine in recent years including her latest project, the NKF Patient Network. It is an honor to recognize her in this way.”
Willis started out in basic research, earning her doctorate in molecular genetics from NYU. She joined NKF in 1998, where she helped establish KDOQI, as well as, spearheading many scientific activities, public policy and legislative advocacy to improve the care of people with kidney disease through identification and dissemination of best clinical practices, promotion of earlier detection and treatment, and increasing access to care. 
“Little did we know, when we started KDOQI, that our guidelines would transform clinical practice, not just in the United States but all over the world, and at the same time transform NKF,” Willis said. “I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to help provide better care to millions of people, who will have the chance to lead longer, healthier lives because of KDOQI.”
Prior to joining NKF, Dr. Willis was Editor-in-Chief of Life Sciences for Academic Press.
NKF Spring Clinical Meetings
For the past 28 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 a Live-Virtual Meeting due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 
NKF Professional Membership
Healthcare professionals can join NKF to receive access to tools and resources 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 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and more than 90 percent 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 www.kidney.org.