NKF to Present Prestigious Joel D. Kopple Award to Washington Dietitian

Katy Wilkens, MS, RD, will be honored at NKF's 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings
New York, NYApril 16, 2019 – Each year the National Kidney Foundation (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 the NKF to enhance the lives of patients through action, education and accelerating change.
Among those who will be honored at the NKF 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings in Boston May 8-12, will be dietitian Katy Wilkens, MS, RD, the manager of the Nutrition and Fitness Service of Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle. NKF will present Wilkens the Joel D. Kopple Award, made to an individual who has contributed significantly to the field of renal nutrition.
“Katy’s work in connecting the dots between nutrition and kidney health is helping blaze the trail for kidney care and improving patient outcomes,” said NKF President Holly Kramer, MD. “It is an honor to recognize her by presenting her the Kopple Award.”
Wilkens is a renal dietitian and educator. She’s been teaching for 40 years at Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle, where she supervises a staff of 25 renal dietitians – and regular rotations of student dietitians, physicians, renal fellows, nurses and social workers. Her personal caseload includes hemodialysis patients who are learning to meet the challenges of home hemodialysis.
“I am honored to receive this award in the name of Joel Kopple,” Wilkens said. “His work has been an inspiration for me. I love being a lifelong member of NKF because it is multi-disciplinary and patient inclusive. I am humbled to receive this award because I recognize the immense amount of passion and work that other recipients have made toward advancing the science and art of renal nutrition. I hope that my contributions help move toward a more practical approach to educating both practitioners and patients.”
Wilkens founded the Washington State Council on Renal Nutrition and the Northwest Renal Dietitians Conference; helping renal dietitians across the five state Northwest region connect and network. She is heavily involved in community outreach, helping plan Northwest Kidney Centers’ Kidney Health Fest for African American Families for 10 years, speaking at numerous community health events and nutrition and kidney conferences, and discussing healthy nutrition regularly on radio and TV.
Wilkens is the author of the renal chapter in the internationally recognized “Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy” textbook and the original American Dietetic Associations Suggested Guidelines for the Care of Renal Patients. She is the editor and author of a nutrition workbook for patients, “Nutrition, the Art of Good Eating for People on Dialysis.” She writes regular nutrition columns for a variety of newspapers including Westside Weekly, Ballard News-Tribune, AgeWise King County, King County’s Senior Services newsletter, National Kidney Foundation newsletters and others.
In addition to accepting her award on Thursday, May 9, Katy will also present “Food and Culture: We Are What We Eat.”  For additional program information, visit nkfclinicalmeetings.org.
NKF Spring Clinical Meetings
For the past 27 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.  This year’s Spring Clinical Meetings will be held May 8-12 in Boston, MA.
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.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.  People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
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 www.kidney.org.