Kidney Patient Leaders to Be Recognized with the President’s Medals

Paul T. Conway


Richard A. Knight, MBA


Two leaders of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) will be honored with ASN President’s Medals on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Paul T. Conway is president of AAKP and Richard A. Knight, MBA, is Vice President and Chair of the Public Policy Committee for AAKP.

“Paul T. Conway and Richard Knight are tireless advocates for the millions of people with kidney diseases, their families, and their caregivers,” said ASN Executive Vice President Tod Ibrahim. “This dynamic duo takes every opportunity to raise awareness about kidney diseases among the public, policymakers, politicians, and the press. In addition, they help lead the kidney community’s efforts to advocate for the highest quality care possible—including increased funding for kidney research—among the legislative and regulatory branches of the U.S. government.”

Mr. Conway has managed kidney disease for more than 35 years—including receiving peritoneal dialysis treatment for many years before a kidney transplant in 1997. Professionally, he has substantial experience developing and managing federal and state government policy development and legislative implementation strategies, including the engagement of stakeholder organizations and the use of social and traditional media.

Mr. Knight is a former hemodialysis patient who received a kidney transplant more than a decade ago. His professional background is in public policy and congressional operations; he has served in various roles on Capitol Hill, including as communication director, legislative director, and liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Mr. Conway has experience in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. His expertise in federal and state agency management and personnel operations was honed through service under four U.S. presidents, three governors and in support of five presidential transitions. He served as the team lead for the Office of Personnel Management on the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump.

His previous federal posts have included chief of staff of the Department of Labor, of the Office of Personnel Management, and of the Office of Gulf Coast Rebuilding within the Department of Homeland Security. He was also a special assistant in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

He served the commonwealth of Virginia as a deputy secretary of health and human resources, a member of the Board of Health Professions, a member of the protection panel for homeland security planning, and an external reviewer of Virginia health, disability, and mental health modernization proposals.

As a patient advocacy leader and policy professional, Mr. Conway has used his knowledge of executive branch and congressional processes to elevate an independent patient voice on issues ranging from innovations in medical treatment and devices, improved access to treatment modalities, payment models, and quality-of-care measurements.

He serves on many national boards and committees, including the Kidney Health Initiative, the kidney committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing Kidney Committee, and the Center for Dialysis Innovation at the University of Washington. He has co-chaired several technical evaluation panels for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Mr. Knight also has a background in public policy and congressional affairs. While working for the U.S. House of Representatives, he was involved in substantial work with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Small Business Committee. He gained experience in federal agency budget and procurement policies working as a government contractor and for ten years as co-chair of the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce annual regional government procurement fair.

As a small business owner, he is heavily involved in business and education issues through several executive networks in the Washington, D.C., region. He serves as adjunct professor at Bowie State University.

As a national kidney patient advocate, Mr. Knight was recently appointed to serve as a member of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases advisory council and serves as an AAKP representative to a National Quality Forum working group. He has served as a member of four technical expert panels for CMS. He is a founding member of the End Stage Renal Disease Health Information Technology Project of the National Renal Administrators Association and serves on the National Kidney Disease Education Program’s Health Information Technology Working Group.

October/November 2017 (Vol. 9, Number 10 & 11)