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
Time to start getting ready for the NKF SCM in Boston from May 8th – 12th. Jennifer McClain and her Program Committee have put together another great group of presenters/presentations. It is always great to be amongst your peers and just soak up the atmosphere. It was just 3 years ago, in Boston, that we unveiled the CMS regulations on Depression Screening. CNSW’s Executive Committee is looking forward to providing feedback to CMS on how depression screening is going in the dialysis clinics. 
Region I Updates
New York Metropolitan Chapter: Nicole Harrison, Chair
Held their last conference of 2018 on October 17th It was an all-day conference presented by THRIVE NYC on Adult Mental Health First Aid Training. A great subject.
Southern New England Chapter: Sarah Stevenson, Chair
Chapter is planning a joint conference with the New England Chapter entitled, “Special topics with the ESRD Population.”
Maryland Chapter: Vacant, Chair
They met in October to hold new elections. We bid a fond farewell to current chair, Kenya Brown, who stepped down. We thank her for all her time and efforts. Be well.
Western Pennsylvania Chapter: Dean Morris, Chair
Dean Morris was recently elected Chapter Chair. You may remember Dean from his days with Network 4. We are looking forward to benefiting from his wide array of experience.
Region V Updates
Oregon/SW Washington Chapter: Pia Allabastro, Mary Carney and Valerie Small, Chairs
They planned a conference on November 7th entitled “Nephrology Palliative Care.” It covered healthcare documents, motivational interviewing, evidence-based research, goals of care and a host of other related topics.
Northwest Chapter: Dawn Menchen, Chair
The Northwest CNSW Chapter held their CNSW Educational Symposium on November 2, 2018. They addressed topics in ethics and had Jeff Harder, LICSW, at UWMC, do his presentation of Good Patient/Bad Patient that he did at NKF SCM 2018.
Their chapter had some recent changes to the board and are in transition from people leaving and new ones taking their place. 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 has stepped down as Chair and handed over the reins to Robin Worker. Thank you Melissa for all your time and efforts. Be well.
San Diego Chapter: Stephanie Johnstone Steinber, Chair
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.  
Chapter Chair Report – Region III
Jennifer Miller, MSW, LICSW, NSW-C
Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter: 
In October, staff from the Midwest Kidney Network did a presentation at the quarterly CNSW meeting on the Decreasing Patient Provider Conflict Toolkit. NKF MN, with CNSW members on the planning committee, hosted a symposium entitled, “Kidney Care Strategies,” on November 10th, with breakout sessions for social workers and dietitians. The topics included “Depression and Substance Use Disorders: The What, When and How.” At our quarterly meeting on March 21st, social workers from the area transplant centers will do a panel presentation regarding collaborating with kidney transplant. NKF MN will host a Kidney Patient Social Summit on March 31st, including a presentation on insurance strategies by CNSW members. We plan to continue to meet quarterly, with continuing education hours and opportunities to network and grow our membership.
CNSW of Eastern MO and Metro East:
CNSW of Eastern MO and Metro East continued to support renal social workers, who provide care for patients suffering from renal disease in a variety of settings, including transplant centers, hospitals, outpatient dialysis clinics and local renal organizations.
September 2018 – Mary E. Fox, M.D. & Deborah Jeffery, DNP were our guest speakers. Their presentation was titled: “There’s No Place Like Home: Adventures in Home-Based Palliative Care” (1 CEU Provided).
October 2018 – We celebrated our CNSW “Debby Silverberg Memorial” Fall Retreat at The Pavilion at Lemay Community Center – located in Jefferson Barracks Park. Four (4) Guest Speakers: 1. Robin Owen, RN: OASIS Senior Advisors, 2. Justine Froelker, Med, LPC, CDWF: “Shame, Values and Boundaries”, 3. Melanie Brady, MSW: “Trauma Informed Yoga” and 4. Michelle Worthy-Freeman, LCSW: “S.E.L.F. – Standing Empowered Liberated Free, Interactive Art Therapy Session”. (4 CEU’s Provided).
November 2018 – Tarek Alhamad, MD was our guest speaker. Presentation Title: “Updates in Kidney Transplant” (1 CEU Provided).
December 2018 – CNSW Happy Hour (Tuesday, December 11th at 4:00 PM). Hosted by SSM Kidney Transplant Hospital at Parker’s Table Restaurant.
January 2019 – “VA Services and Dialysis Patient Care”, Katie Mullen, LCSW
March 2019 – Attending National Kidney Foundation “Advocacy Day 2019” at the State Capital, Jefferson City, MO. Will spend Worldwide Kidney Day meeting with legislators to discuss issues important to kidney disease, transplant and dialysis patients.
Nebraska Chapter:
The most recent quarterly meeting was held on November 2, 2018, in Lincoln, NE, at the Dialysis Clinic of Lincoln/Northwest. The program involved a tour of the new Northwest facility that will have the capacity of 28 chairs when fully staffed. There were no speakers for the meeting as there was a cancellation. We watched and discussed a video on hospice care. Unit updates were also provided along with discussion on how to best serve patients in the Social Work role. Elections were held. Jennifer Moran, LICSW is the new chairperson and Sarah Nassam will remain the secretary. The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2019 at CHI Midlands in Papillion, NE.
Wisconsin Chapter:
Q4 2018:
  • Chapter Meeting 10/05/18
    • Presenter/CEU Topic: Estate Planning and Elder Law
    • Roundtable Discussion Topics: Psychometric Evaluation of KDQOL Survey; Working with Young Adults on Dialysis
  • Interdisciplinary Dialysis Symposium held 11/08/18 in Madison WI; MSW Topics included:
    • Ethical Considerations of Transplant
    • Boundaries and Safety – Managing Difficult Situations
    • KDOQI Vascular Access Guidelines Update
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Guardianship
    • Medications and Patient Self-Management
    • Exercise and Patient Outcomes
    • State Survey Readiness
    • Food Insecurity
  • Administered engagement survey to WI CNSW listserv in December 2018 to identify deficits and create action plan for improving engagement and attendance within the chapter
Q1 2019:
  • Currently in the works of planning a social work appreciation networking event/social mixer for Social Work Month in March 2019; part of the objective is to educate area social workers on CNSW and encourage them to join
  • Otherwise, other Quarter 1 updates include finalizing the chapter meeting schedule/content for the upcoming year
CNSW-Indiana (ICNSW):
This past fall’s ICNSW meeting was held on November 16, 2018, in conjunction with the NKF Indiana Annual Stuart A. Kleit Symposium. The Symposium, in its 27th year, is a one day multi-disciplinary seminar that enhances the understanding of advances in care of the chronic kidney disease patients and provides information and accreditations to nephrology professionals. The theme this year was “Disruptive Innovation: Changing the Culture of Kidney Care.” Psychosocial topics included Transitions – Becoming an Adult with Renal Disease; Opioid Addiction & the Community; Fundraising for Transplantation; and a panel on Ethics & Social Media. Other topics were Transitional Dialysis Care – Culture Change or Fad; Obesity & Transplantation – Bariatric Surgery for Increasing Access to Transplant; ESRD is a Cardiac Disease; and CMS-driven Culture Change – Telemedicine & Home Dialysis. We had a good social worker presence with the opportunity to network with a variety of other renal professionals as well as with each other.
This Spring 2019, our meeting will be on March 22nd. The theme and topics will be announced soon. We, again, anticipate a good turnout given our focus on advanced topics and discussions that enhance our practices as well as the care of our patients and their families.
Michigan Chapter
The Michigan Chapter had a busy 2018. Our chapter continues to grow and is busy planning for our 25th Annual Symposium. The Annual Symposium is always a big event for our Michigan Chapter with over 60 members attending. We also recognized our Chapter’s Merit award recipient Susan Walker for her years of dedication towards nephrology social worker.

Council on Renal Nutrition

Georgia Council on Renal Nutrition's Annual Spring Meeting
Southern Regional Medical Center, Riverdale, GA
May 16-17, 2019
CEUs Anticipated: 12 hours
Program Contact: Rob Meadows, MBA, RD @ rmeadows@pcacorp.com
Chapter Chair: Olivia Haeberle, RD, LD @ oatart016@hotmail.com
North Carolina Council on Renal Nutrition: NC CRN Spring Conference
Holiday Inn Express Conference Center, 149 Spring Forest Drive, Mebane, NC
Friday March 29, 2019  
You are welcomed to lodge the night before at the Holiday Inn for your convenience.
Direct number is 919.304.9900.
Indiana Council on Renal Nutrition: Spring Clinical Meeting
April 12, 2019
Contact: Christina Miller,  christina.miller@fmc-na.com
Iowa Council on Renal Nutrition: Spring Meeting
Coralville Public Library 10 am to 2 pm
March 28, 2019
Contact Heide at (563)589-4085 or HaasH@gr-mg.com
Michigan Council on Renal Nutrition: Spring Meeting
The Nomad Grill, 26555 Telegraph Road, Southfield, Michigan  48033
April 12, 2019
Contact : Adarsh Berry at ABERY1@hfhs.org   
CRN New England Announcement
We held a registration lottery to send up to 15 CRNNE members to NKF SCM this May in Boston. We coordinated with the NKF to earmark funds from our budget and any local meeting revenue to be used to give back to members and send as many possible to the local NKF SCM this year. We are thrilled to be able to continue this tradition (we sent 20 members to Boston in 2016).
Contact: Dana Trotta at danatrotta1@gmail.com

Council of Nephrology Nurses & Technicians

No updates at this time