ASN Finalizes New Strategic Plan

ASN recently finalized a new strategic plan that expands the society’s leadership role in supporting transformative research targeting prevention, treatment, and cures for kidney diseases. ASN has also committed to articulating a vision for nephrology practice in the future as part of the strategic plan.

Responding to changes in nephrology, medicine, health care, and science—as well as the evolution of not-for-profit organizations—ASN produced strategic plans in 2003 and 2010. These plans resulted in ASN’s focus on education, communications and publications, policy and advocacy, grants and travel support, and workforce.

“To lead the society to the next level, the ASN Council initiated a new strategic planning process in July 2014,” said ASN Past President Sharon M. Moe, MD, FASN. The society held a series of listening sessions with ASN members during Kidney Week 2014 in Philadelphia, PA. “Combined with input from ASN’s committees, advisory groups, and former councilors, the feedback from the listening sessions helped the leadership finalize a new strategic plan” during the past year, Dr. Moe added.

“The new strategic plan will shape the society through 2020,” explained ASN President Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD, FASN. “Focused on helping nephrology overcome current challenges and building the profession, the new strategic plan leverages the success of ASN, the ASN Foundation for Kidney Research, and the Kidney Health Initiative to continue to broaden outreach to future professionals, support those already working in nephrology, and assert the value of nephrology,” Dr. Himmelfarb said.

“The next five years are crucial to the future of nephrology,” Dr. Himmelfarb noted. “Interest in careers in nephrology is at an all-time low, while nephrology is among the least-popular specialties for graduates of US medical schools.” Kidney research “has generated the lowest number of randomized controlled trials and produced few new approved safe and effective drugs, devices, and biologics.” As a result, according to Dr. Himmelfarb, “It’s not surprising that the public, press, politicians, policymakers, and primary care providers exhibit less awareness of kidney diseases than many other prevalent diseases.”

“The society must continuously engage our diverse, vibrant membership to ensure that we are nimble enough to respond quickly to the pace of change in such a dynamic health care environment,” Dr. Himmelfarb said.

During Kidney Week 2015 in San Diego, CA, ASN leaders will hold a second round of listening sessions “to seek the membership’s advice on how to move from broad goals to an implementation plan,” explained ASN President-Elect Raymond C. Harris, MD, FASN. These discussions will help the leadership identify short-, medium-, and long-term objectives ASN must meet during the next five years (2016–2020) to accomplish its new strategic plan.

To discuss the new ASN Strategic Plan, please email ASN Executive Director Tod Ibrahim at