Dolph Chianchiano to Receive President’s Medal

Dolph Chianchiano


ASN will present a special President’s Medal to a longtime and effective advocate for improving kidney care, Dolph Chianchiano, on Friday, Nov. 2.

Mr. Chianchiano was a key leader of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) for 30 years, serving as senior vice president for health policy and research until his retirement in 2009. He continues to consult for the foundation as a health policy adviser.

Mr. Chianchiano spent 4 years in health-related research and policy work for the American Heart Association before joining the NKF in 1979 as an associate director, where he began crafting the initiatives that helped build the NKF.

He became the principal architect of NKF’s public policy campaigns and author of NKF’s position papers and policy statements. Under his leadership, NKF became a vigorous proponent of many legislative efforts, resulting in the passage of laws that have helped raise standards for dialysis facilities, expedited the transplantation process, removed barriers to organ donation, and provided funding for lifesaving treatments for kidney patients. As one example of his tenacity, it took 25 years of advocacy by the kidney community to convince the Food and Drug Administration to implement warning labels regarding the potential for kidney damage from over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in 2009.

Mr. Chianchiano was NKF’s principal liaison with several coalitions and government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

As the administrator of NKF’s research program, he made the important decision to expand the program to include not only grants to physicians, but to other members of the health-care team such as nurses, technicians, dietitians, and social workers. That program has distributed almost $80 million in grants.

Mr. Chianchiano was the prime mover behind several of NKF’s signature activities. He was the catalyst for the creation of three peer-reviewed medical journals, including the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. He helped develop the popular Spring Clinical Meetings in 1992. He spearheaded the initial Controversies in the Quality of Dialysis Care Conference, which led to the launch of the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative, which has published 12 clinical practice guidelines and led to numerous advances in kidney treatment.

Former NKF chair John H. Kirkendall said of Mr. Chianchiano, “His vast knowledge, work ethic, and impeccable honesty are hallmarks everyone should strive for.”

October-November 2012 (Vol. 4, Number 10 & 11)