New Leadership for National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative

New York, NY (January 13, 2004) - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has named two renowned kidney specialists, Adeera Levin, M.D., FRCPC and Michael Rocco, M.D., as the new leaders of the foundation's Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI). They will direct K/DOQI's expanding scope of work in developing evidence based clinical practice guidelines to improve outcomes for kidney patients.

Levin, new K/DOQI chair, has previously served on the NKF's Chronic Kidney Disease and Dyslipidemia work groups and as K/DOQI co-chair since 2002. She is clinical professor of medicine, division of nephrology at the University of British Columbia, where she also serves as director of clinical research and education for nephrology and director of the postgraduate fellowship program in nephrology. She is the chief medical editor of PROFILES, and is on the editorial boards of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation and the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Rocco, new K/DOQI vice-chair, also co-chairs the work group for the forthcoming K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines on Blood Pressure and the Use of Anti-Hypertensive Agents in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). He is professor of medicine and nephrology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC. Dr. Rocco served as a clinical center principal investigator for the National Institute of Health (NIH)-sponsored HEMO Study and is the principal investigator for the NIH-sponsored Frequent Hemodialysis Clinical Trials for Nocturnal Hemodialysis. He has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts in the areas of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, nutrition, chronic kidney failure and epidemiology.

"We are very proud to have these two distinguished scientists leading one of NKF's signature programs," said NKF president, Brian Pereira, M.D. "Drs. Levin and Rocco's appointments provide the initiative with continuity and a commitment to excellence that will ensure K/DOQI's long term strength and ability to improve patient outcomes."

Levin and Rocco will interact closely with and provide guidance to the K/DOQI staff, work group members and other volunteers involved in the development, dissemination and implementation of the K/DOQI clinical practice guidelines.

New Guidelines Under Development

The K/DOQI chairs will oversee the development of new clinical practice guidelines, as well as updates of existing guidelines covering hemodialysis adequacy, peritoneal dialysis adequacy and vascular access.

A new K/DOQI guideline examining the impact anemia has on outcomes of patients with CKD is being developed. The original K/DOQI guidelines addressed anemia in kidney failure. This new work will update existing guidelines and provide new recommendations for the identification and treatment of anemia in all stages of CKD.

Guidelines concerning blood pressure management and CKD and cardiovascular disease in dialysis patients will be published in 2004.

Global Initiative for CKD

Garabed Eknoyan, M.D., of Baylor School of Medicine in Houston, co-founder of K/DOQI, now assumes the role of co-chair with Norbert Lameire, M.D., of Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, of NKF's new global CKD initiative. This global initiative will work to facilitate sharing of data and expertise and the creation of guidelines and implementation tools for kidney doctors and patients throughout the world. Nathan Levin, M.D., of Renal Research Institute in New York and co-founder of K/DOQI, also joins in this initiative.