National Kidney Foundation Appoints Johns Hopkins Nephrologist to Board of Directors

Oct. 19, 2020, New York, NY —The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is pleased to announce the appointment of nephrologist Dr. Sumeska Thavarajah of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to its national Board of Directors.

Dr. Thavarajah is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology. She has a demonstrated commitment to increasing education and community awareness of kidney disease noted through her work with the foundation’s local office NKF Serving Maryland and Delaware (NKF MDDE). 

“As a daughter of a nephrologist, I have grown up learning about the challenges and needs of those with kidney disease,” Dr. Thavarajah said. “I am excited by the opportunity to work with others committed to bettering the lives of those with kidney disease through education efforts and advocacy.”  

Dr. Thavarajah served as the NKF MDDE-Medical Advisory Board Chair from 2014 to 2020 and has been a member of the board since 2013. Much of her work at Johns Hopkins and the local NKF has focused on the development of patient education programs, including videos, live classes, and patient conferences with an emphasis on understanding kidney disease, dialysis modalities, and transplant options.

“We look forward to having Sumeska’s voice on the Board as we work to advance kidney health in the United States,” said Anthony E. Tuggle, NKF Chair. “With 37 million adults in the U.S. affected by kidney disease, it has never been more important to get the attention of the 90 percent of those who don’t know they have it.” 

Dr. Thavarajah is very involved in clinical care and operations serving as medical director for the nephrology clinic and acute dialysis services at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (JHBMC) and the FMC Merritt outpatient dialysis unit. Dr. Thavarajah joined the JHBMC Nephrology editorial board in October 2019 as a blog editor for the journal. 

The NKF Board of Directors consists of leaders in their communities who have been affected by kidney disease. They are nephrologists, kidney healthcare professionals, living donors, transplant recipients, care partners, top executives with diverse business experience, and civic leaders. The Board meets three times per year and is charged with fiduciary, fundraising, and governance responsibilities for NKF. Board members serve a term of three years and may be elected for a second term.  


Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  One in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic 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. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure.  Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.


About the National Kidney Foundation

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