The National Kidney Foundation Honors Dr. Ana Ricardo with Distinguished Service Award

(April 11, 2023, New York, NY) — University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) nephrologist Ana Ricardo, MD, will receive the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Medical Advisory Board Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes individuals for their educational activities and community service in promoting the mission of NKF on a local level. The award will be presented at the 2023 Spring Clinical Meetings in Austin, TX, April 11-15.

Dr. Ricardo is an active member of the NKF of Illinois Professional Advisory Board Executive Committee. Further, her research is focused on health disparities and health behaviors in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Dr. Ricardo has led clinical research studies evaluating racial and ethnic, as well as sex-related differences in CKD progression and cardiovascular outcomes in adults with CKD. She has served on the planning committee for our Viviendo con Enfermedad Renal y Transplante (the Spanish offering of NKF of Illinois Living with Kidney Disease and Transplantation) patient educational seminar, as well as providing talks about kidney health and transplantation and serving on the expert panel.   

Dr. Ricardo is also a committed volunteer for the KidneyMobile® screening program, which screens for kidney disease and risk factors including diabetes and hypertension. She frequently volunteers to serve as a medical expert at screenings, reviewing screening results and providing expert consultation to screening participants.  

“I am truly honored to receive this award,” Dr. Ricardo said. “Over the past 10 years, I have had the privilege to work with people who have dedicated their careers to improve the lives of people with kidney disease. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois has given me to participate in some of their wonderful patient education and professional development programs.”

Dr. Ricardo received her medical degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. She completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, and a Nephrology Fellowship at UIC. She received a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and a Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science degrees from the UIC School of Public Health.

She has studied the impact of health behaviors including physical activity, smoking, diet, and sleep on outcomes in individuals with CKD. Dr. Ricardo has mentored medical students, internal medicine residents and nephrology fellows in research projects related to CKD and health disparities in kidney disease. Her clinical interests include the management of complications of CKD, including hypertension, and diabetic kidney disease.

“Dr. Ricardo has been a committed volunteer for the NKF in Illinois. She is an example to emulate for professionals, patients, and anyone hoping to make a difference in kidney care,” said NKF President Sylvia Rosas, MD. “She focuses on the whole patient and shows her commitment to serve the community every day. It is an honor to present her with this award.”

Every year, 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 millions of people with kidney disease. These prestigious awards are presented during one of the most important gatherings of clinicians and kidney health professionals, the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings.

“We need to spread the word that a great proportion of kidney disease is preventable,” Dr. Ricardo said. “Through healthy lifestyle and prevention of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, the burden of kidney disease can be reduced.”


NKF Spring Clinical Meetings

For the past 31 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. 


About Kidney Disease

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, 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. Black or African American people are about four times as likely as White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics or Latinos experience kidney failure at about double the rate of White people.


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. 


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