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Tait D. Shanafelt, MD

An international thought leader in the field of physician well-being and its implications for quality of care will deliver the state-of-the-art address “Reducing Physician Distress: Organizational Approaches to Improve Physician Well-Being” at a plenary on Friday, Oct. 23.

The speaker will be Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, who is the chief wellness officer, associate dean, and Jeanie and Stewart Ritchie Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Shanafelt’s pioneering studies in this area nearly 20 years ago have been credited with helping launch the field of organizational efforts to promote physician well-being.

He was the founding director

Bridget M. Kuehn

As the COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping across the United States this spring, hospitals began preparing for a surge in critically ill patients by increasing the numbers of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and trying to secure more ventilators. But they were “blindsided” by a huge increase in the need for renal replacement therapy among COVID-19 patients and the resulting shortages in dialysis nurses, equipment, and supplies, said Anitha Vijayan, MD, professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.

“We were completely caught off guard by the proportion of patients with acute kidney injury who required dialysis,” said Sumit Mohan,

Gisela Deuter, RN, MS

Priti R. Patel, MD

Two leaders from very diverse backgrounds will receive president’s medals this year—Gisela Deuter, RN, MS, a former ASN staff member, and Priti R. Patel, MD, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ASN awards the ASN President’s Medal to individuals who have helped advance ASN’s mission to lead the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

Ms. Deuter provided outstanding and innovative leadership as a member of the ASN staff for 20 years. Her expertise and

Mario Schiffer, MD, MBA

A researcher who has spent 20 years investigating proteinuria causes and treatments will deliver the Michelle P. Winn, MD, Endowed Lectureship on “Drug Targeting of the Podocyte Actin Cytoskeleton.”

Mario Schiffer, MD, MBA, professor of medicine, director of the department of nephrology and hypertension, and head of the department of internal medicine at the University Hospital Erlangen in Germany will speak on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Dr. Schiffer began his research into proteinuria development as a postdoctoral fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. His research using mouse models led to his

Nicole (Nicki) Lurie, MD, MSPH

Public health leader Nicole (Nicki) Lurie, MD, MSPH, will deliver the Christopher R. Blagg, MD, Endowed Lectureship on “Kidney Care and the COVID-19 Experience.”

Dr. Lurie is a physician, professor of medicine, and public health official who is internationally renowned as a health services researcher and policy expert. Her long history in the health services research field has focused on access to and quality of care, managed care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness, and health disparities.

She will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped America’s emergency response infrastructure and changed

Katalin Susztak, MD, PhD

A leading researcher in genetics and genomics will deliver the Barry M. Brenner, MD, Endowed Lectureship on “Tubular Cell Metabolic Reprogramming in Renal Fibrogenesis” on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The speaker will be Katalin Susztak, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine in the division of renal electrolyte and hypertension and professor of genetics at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I think this is a really exciting time in science,” Dr. Susztak said. “New technologies are emerging, which will really accelerate research progress, and I think we have fantastic new discoveries ahead of us in biology.”

Dr. Susztak leads

Eric Seaborg

As calls for social justice and unrest reach into every corner of American life, the controversy over the inclusion of race as a factor in calculating estimated glomerular filtration rates reached more milestones as ASN and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) formed a task force to reassess the practice, a congressional committee chair sought information from medical societies about the use of race in clinical algorithms, and more institutions moved away from the practice.

The issue even hit the mainstream media with a story from Consumer Reports, “Medical Algorithms Have a Race Problem.”

The NKF-ASN Task Force on

Ruth Jessen Hickman

A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine emphasizes the ethical importance of giving well-educated patients true choices when it comes to management of advanced chronic kidney disease, especially regarding potential dialysis cessation (1). Through coordination with palliative care specialists, nephrologists can offer patients a wide variety of options to help meet their specific personal needs and goals.

Although a vital, life-saving therapy, dialysis can come with side effects and significant psychological, social, and financial pressures on patients. Solomon Liao, MD, is director of palliative care at the University of California, Irvine, and one

Ruth Jessen Hickman

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine may shift the balance for clinicians who are considering the use of drug-coated balloons (DCBs) for treating dysfunctional dialysis arteriovenous (AV) fistulas (1). The improved rates of fistula patency and reassuring data on safety underscore the potential of this technology to improve patients’ lives and reduce healthcare expenditures.

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with standard balloons is currently the recommended treatment for dysfunctional hemodialysis fistulas. A balloon is inserted into the dialysis shunt and inflated in a stenotic area to stretch the vessel and restore normal flow. Although

Bridget M. Kuehn

During ASN’s recent webinar on Going Beyond the Statement: Dismantling Systemic Racism in Nephrology, a panel of nephrologists delved deep into the ways structural and overt racism affects patients and the profession and what to do about it (1).

“We hope and envision this will be the start of an important ongoing conversation that engages the broad community of our organization,” said ASN’s Secretary-Treasurer Keisha Gibson, MD, MPH, who moderated the panel.

Nephrologists and ASN must play a greater role in changing policies, practices, and beliefs that prevent Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from achieving their