Nation's Top Nephrology Social Workers to be Honored

New York, NY (March 19, 2015) — The National Kidney Foundation's Council of Nephrology Social Workers (NKF-CNSW) will recognize outstanding professionals who are advancing the field of nephrology social work at the NKF's 2015 Spring Clinical Meetings in Dallas, TX.

Mary Beth Callahan, ACSW, LCSW, will receive the Robert W. Whitlock Lifetime Achievement Award. Callahan, of Dallas, TX, has devoted her career to improving the lives of people with chronic kidney disease and the teams caring for them. She is a champion of the nephrology social worker role and is active with NKF-CNSW, serving as Chair from 1996-1998 and founding the North Texas CNSW chapter. Callahan also was a member of two key committees examining patient care, the State of Texas Disparities in CKD Task Force and the NIH Consensus Conference: Non-Adherence in the Transplant Patient. Additionally, she developed the Outcomes Training Program which has been influential in educating social workers to practice effectively with patients, families and staff dealing with chronic kidney disease. She has been previously honored by the NKF of Texas with the 2014 Texas Ruby Walker Professional Care Award.

Also being honored at this year's Spring Clinical Meetings:

  • Jeff Harder, MSW, LICSW, of Seattle, WA, and Kathleen M. Malarcher, LMSW, of Dallas, TX, will receive both receive the Merit Award. Harder is being recognized for his active role with CNSW, serving as Chair from 2009 to 2011, editorial board member for the Journal of Nephrology Social Work (JNSW), and Professional Education Chair. He has also been involved in planning professional education programs for the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings, facilitating the development of the social work track. Malarcher is being recognized for her work to bring together community agencies on behalf of kidney patients, and has been instrumental in facilitating patient advocacy meetings and coordinating education programs for staff and patients. Marlarcher's leadership and support were critical in establishing staffing ratios for social workers in Texas ESRD facilities, the only state to institute such measures. She has served as Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the North Texas-CNSW Chapter.
  • Joan Emmer, MSW, LSW, of Edison, NJ, and Ashley Norman, MSW, of Linden, MI, will both receive the New Worker Award. The honor goes to exemplary social workers who have made their mark on the field within their first two years of practice.
  • Christine Waller, MSW, LICSW, of Agawam, MA, Rebecca Nichols, MSW, of Dearborn, MI, and Ashlie Castro, LMSW, of New Orleans, LA, will receive Regional Social Worker Awards for valuable contributions made specifically in their local areas.

The National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings take place March 25-29 at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, TX. For more information, visit

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. For more information, visit