Local Chapter News

The Local Chapters of the NKF Professional Councils hold regular meetings, often work with NKF offices in their area, engage with their members and honor local renal professionals in unique ways. This is a place for Chapters to recap events, share meeting and speaker ideas, and announce member achievements.

If you are interested in submitting to Local Chapter News, please contact your Region Representative or your Council's RenaLink Editor. Other questions? Email us.


Council of Nephrology Social Workers

Chapter Chair Report – Region I & V
Tom Lepetich, LCSW
I went to the NKF SCM2018 in Austin, Texas. It is always great to be amongst your peers and just soak up the atmosphere.  We had the ASWB present on promoting clinical licensure in dialysis and also on their efforts to implement social work practice mobility from state to state, as fast and smooth as possible.
Other things that are going on are:
  • Teri Browne, Phd, MSW, NSW-C spoke at National NASW Conference in June on “Nephrology Social Work: A model to shape the future of nephrology social work.”
  • Tom Lepetich (that’s me) was appointed to the NKF's Public Policy Committee. An advisory board to help inform and execute NKF's legislative and regulatory policy positions.
  • Results of Teri and Joe Merighi's Salary & Caseload Study were published in the Journal of Nephrology Social Work.
  • CNSW Program Committee accepted proposals for presentations for NKF's SCM19 in Boston (then New Orleans 2020 and Orlando 2021).
  • CNSW's Executive Committee to provide feedback to CMS on Depression Screening (after two years of clinical data).
Region I Updates
New York Metropolitan Chapter: Nicole Harrison, Chair: Had a meeting on June 13th at Mt. Sinai Downtown entitled “Palliative Care Approaches for Nephrology Social Workers” with presentations on “Integrating Palliative Care into Nephrology Social Work Practice”; Improving Quality Utilizing the ESRD Network of New York 2018 Projects”; Caring for the Elderly with Advanced Renal Disease.”  The next scheduled conference will be October 17th. 
Southern New England Chapter: Sarah Stevenson, Chair:  Are planning a joint conference with the New England Chapter entitled, “Special topics with the ESRD Popluation.”
Maryland Chapter: Kenya Brown, Chair: They are meeting in October to hold new elections.  We bid a fond farewell to current chair, Kenya Brown, who will be stepping down.  We thank her for all her time and efforts.  Be well.
Region V Updates
Oregon/SW Washington Chapter:  Pia Allabastro, Mary Carney and Valerie Small, Chairs:  Had a great conference entitled “Challenging Behaviors, Communication Skills and Understanding Cognitive Brain Change” on May 2nd in Portland, Oregon worth up to 5.0 CEUs.  For the Fall season, they are planning a conference on November 7th entitled “Nephrology Palliative Care.”  It will cover healthcare documents, motivational interviewing, evidence based research, goals of care and a host of other related topic.
Northwest Chapter: Dawn Menchen, Chair: The Northwest CNSW Chapter is in the midst of planning the next CNSW Educational Symposium on November 2, 2018. We will be addressing topics in ethics and having Jeff Harder, LICSW at UWMC do his presentation of Good Patient/Bad Patient that he did at NKF SCM 2018. We will send you the registration that outlines our program when ready; most likely by end of the month. We are just getting confirmation on our final speaker. 
Our chapter had some recent changes to the board and are in transition from people leaving and new ones taking their place. I have copied everyone to this email. I would like to introduce Cindy Cornell, MSW, Sarah Boggs, LSWAIC, and Katie Zavala, LSWAIC who are coming on-board as we say goodbye to Barbara Dickhaus, LICSW, Tanisha Davis, LSWAIC, and Andrea Schlechty, LSWAIC. 
Orange County Chapter: Robin Worker, Chair: Melissa Percy from St. Joseph’s is stepping down as chair and handing over the reigns to Robin Worker.  Thank you Melissa for all your time and efforts. Be well.
San Diego Chapter: Stephanie Johnstone Steinber, Chair: The San Diego Chapter held their annual educational meeting  on 5/16/2018.  It was well attended by the entire San Diego and Imperial County membership, Eileen Rhodes, MSW, the Patient Services Directory of the ESRD Network 18 opened the meeting with a presentation on multiple topics.  These included the current grievance procedure, involuntary patient transfers and discharges, emergency response and preparedness, available support groups and peer mentoring programs and patient representations at facility quality improvement meetings. 
Following the Network 18 presentation, Erica Rodriguez and Bianca Gonzalez gave a presentation on “Job Assistance for Special Needs Populations in San Diego County.  They discussed the agency, now in service for over 29 years, and what their 900 employees are available to do for the ESRD patient.  It is important to note that most job positions offered require that the person be able to do physical labor and lifting and have their own transportation.  
Michael Moses, the UCSD Renal Transplant Pharmacist gave an excellent presentation on “Guidelines on Steroid-Free Immunosuppression”. He highlighted the importance of patient awareness of the guidelines and discussed the ability to customize the treatment to the individual patient’s immune system response.
The final speaker was Barbara Treash-Osio, a staff attorney from the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.  Barbara gave a presentation that included discussion of conservatorship of the person and estate, and the powers and duties of conservators.  She also highlighted the difficulty in determining mental capacity.
The next meeting of the San Diego CNSW Chapter will be in Spring 2019.  Contact Stephanie Johnstone at stephanie.johnstonesteinberg@fmc-na.com for questions and further information.

Council on Renal Nutrition

No updates at this time

Council of Nephrology Nurses & Technicians

No updates at this time