Robert W. Whitlock Lifetime Achievement Award

Leanne Peace, MSW, MHA

Area Operations Administrator, Mid MO Dialysis Clinic, Inc.

Leanne started her career as Nephrology Social Worker in 1987 at DCi clinics in Mid Missouri. She covered Hemo and Home clinics in the rural areas, and would regularly fly in a 6 seater Cessina with the IDT to remote clinics. It was also during this time that DCI supervisors encouraged Leanne to get involved in CNSW and NKF, Annual Dialysis Conference, and Network boards.


After 12 years w/ DCI, Leanne became the Kidney and Heart Transplant Social Worker at the University of MO- Columbia. She worked with the transplant candidates and post transplants, and Living donor program. During this time, Leanne received a call from one of her mentors, Robert Whitlock. He suggested that if she ever wanted to be considered for his Director position at the MO Kidney Program, he recommended that she take some financial classes.


By 2008, Leanne received her Master’s in Health Administration and took over MO Kidney Program in 2009, after Robert’s untimely death. Leanne ran MOKP for 8 years, advocating for kidney patients and families and state funding resources at the State level. One of the highlights during this time was MOKP’s commitment to educate and navigate Kidney patients with pre-existing illnesses into the new Affordable Care Act insurance plans.   


In 2017 Leanne returned to DCI of Mid Missouri as an Area Operations Director, overseeing 6 In-Center and Home clinics scattered throughout rural Missouri. Although she may not be doing direct Nephrology Social Work, she still considers herself as a Macro-level Social Worker, always using her skills of teamwork, strengths perspective, collaboration and problem solving, along with that financial knowledge.


Involvement in CNSW has been a positive motivator and energizer for Leanne’s career. She has served as CNSW Region 3 Rep; Membership Chair; Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair. She co-edited the CNSW’s Standards of Practice 4rd and 6th Editions, and the CNSW”s Kidney Transplantation: A Primer for Nephrology Social Workers”. In addition, she has presented at numerous NKF, AKF and ADC conferences usually around the topics of Professional boundaries, and Health Literacy. She was a research team member on several HRSA projects, focusing on medication adherence, motivational interviewing, and healthcare decision making.


The highlight of her professional career has been the networking and collaboration with CNSW colleagues, plus the enhancement of the Nephrology Social Work’s profession.

Past Robert W. Whitlock Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients:

  • 2023: Gary Petingola, MSW, RSW
  • 2022: Teri Browne, MSW, PhD
  • 2021: Deborah Collinsworth, LAPSW, NSW-C
  • 2020: Tom Lepetich, MSW, LCSW
  • 2015: Mary Beth Callahan, ACSW, LCSW
  • 2014: Stephanie Johnstone, LCSW
  • 2013: Michael "JR" Cervantes, LCSW, NSW-C
  • 2012: Sandra Coorough, ACSW, LCSW, NSW-C
  • 2011: Karren King, MSW, ACSW, LCSW
  • 2010: Beth Witten, MSW, ACSW, LSCW
  • 2009: Judith Kari, MSSW, CISW