The NKF Honors Nephrologist Dr. Suzanne Watnick with Prestigious Shaul G. Massry Distinguished Lecture Award

Dr. Watnick - SCM24 Massry Winner

(Feb. 9, 2024, New York, NY) — Nephrologist and Professor of Medicine Dr. Suzanne Watnick will be honored by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) with the prestigious Shaul G. Massry Distinguished Lecture Award during one of the nation’s most regarded gatherings of kidney professionals, the NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings that will be held in May in Long Beach, CA.

Since 1996, NKF has been presenting the Shaul G. Massry Distinguished Lecture Award in honor of Dr. Massry for his scientific achievements and contributions to kidney health care.

“Dr. Massry was one of the most prominent leaders in our field, so I am truly humbled to be the recipient of the incredibly prestigious Shaul G. Massry Award,” Dr. Watnick said. “I am honored to see the other most prestigious, thoughtful, passionate, and forward-thinking nephrologists who have been selected for the Massry Award in previous years. Recognition from the NKF is particularly meaningful to me, given their patient-centered approach.“

Dr. Watnick is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and a practicing nephrologist at the Puget Sound Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, where she specializes in caring for those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and has extensive experience in the oversight and provision of care for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients. She focuses on all aspects of kidney care delivery currently at both the VA and until 2023 as the Chief Medical Officer at Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle, the world’s first dialysis organization. She also served as the primary liaison for research operations between the Kidney Research Institute and Northwest Kidney Centers. For over a decade, she was also the Nephrology Program Director at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) where she taught medical students and nephrology fellows about dialysis care.

Dr. Watnick holds a BA degree with a cum laude designation from Harvard University, and she received her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She served as an Internal Medicine resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and had her nephrology fellowship at Yale University. She has served on several national advisory boards, including the VA Renal Field Advisory Committee, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Policy and Advocacy Committee, the ASN Quality Committee, and the ASN Home Dialysis Task Force, which addressed legislative and regulatory policy concerns. She also has worked on many quality and payment issues related to dialysis, such as the rollout of bundled care to present-day issues around value-based care programs and the implementation of new guidelines.

“Dr. Watnick deserves this award because she’s a role model to students, nephrologists, and investigators who have witnessed her dedication to finding ways to advance patients’ health and improve outcomes for all kidney patients,” said NKF President Sylvia E. Rosas, MD, MSCE. “She has always been committed to serving people living with kidney disease, through dedicated patient care, education, research, and advocacy. The impact of her mentoring on the future of nephrology is extensive and very appreciated.”

Each 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 patients through action, education, and accelerating change. The prestigious awards are presented to the recipients during the annual gathering of clinicians and kidney health professionals at the NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings, which will be held from May 14 – 18 in Long Beach, California.

“Through the efforts of many, in a concerted and transparent fashion, we can improve the lives of people with kidney disease,” said Dr. Watnick. “We can do this with innovative care models, new therapies, and a kind and caring approach.”


NKF Spring Clinical Meetings

For the past 32 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 is designed for meaningful change in the multidisciplinary and interprofessional 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, more than 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: 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. Black or African American people are about four times as likely as White people to have kidney failure. Hispanics 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 is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit