This award was established to honor those who have dedicated their careers to public service and who have helped to shape public policies or government programs that improve outcomes for kidney patients. The 2019 recipient is Nilka Ríos Burrows, MPH.
Nilka Ríos Burrows, MPH, is an epidemiologist in the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She joined CDC in 1992 and its Division of Diabetes in 1997. As a member of the Division’s Surveillance Team, she conducted public health surveillance of diabetes and its complications nationwide and worked with the Indian Health Service’s Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention on diabetes surveillance among Native Americans. She received awards for her work in bringing national attention to the issue of diabetes and obesity in youth. Since 2016, Nilka has led the CDC’s Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative, collaborating with many partners on surveillance, epidemiology, and cost-effectiveness studies to provide public health strategies for promoting kidney health. As part of this Initiative, Nilka manages the CKD Surveillance System and coordinates the National CKD Fact Sheet to increase awareness about kidney disease burden and prevention. For the Healthy People national agenda, she has championed objectives that address CKD. Nilka has authored or coauthored more than 80 publications, including several on racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes and kidney failure. Her surveillance work for CDC’s Vital Signs documented the remarkable decline in kidney failure from diabetes among Native Americans.
Past Public Service Award Recipient:
2018 - Andrew Narva, MD
2017 - Shari M. Ling, MD