President’s Medal Winners Drawn from CDC and ASN

Gisela Deuter, BSN, MSA

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Priti R. Patel, MD

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Two leaders from very diverse backgrounds will receive president’s medals this year—Gisela Deuter, BSN, MSA, 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 dedication enabled the society to develop, launch, and build the Nephrology Self-Assessment Program (nephSAP), now one of the premier educational programs in nephrology. The program has allowed kidney health professionals to extend their knowledge and enhance their ability to provide cutting-edge care.

Ms. Deuter also helped launch ASN Renal Weekends (now called ASN Highlights), expand educational offerings at ASN Kidney Week, and ensure ASN’s accreditation as a provider of continuing medical education credits by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

Ms. Deuter received her nursing degree from Temple University, where she became a staff nurse at the university’s inpatient dialysis unit, assistant nurse supervisor of the dialysis unit, renal research coordinator, and then nursing coordinator for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. In 1990, she moved from Philadelphia to Detroit to become the administrator of the nephrology and hypertension division at Henry Ford Hospital. While there, she added a master’s degree in science administration from Central Michigan University. She joined the ASN staff in 2001 and retired in June 2020.

Dr. Patel was the dialysis activity leader in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC and is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. In this role, she has led the CDC’s dialysis patient safety program, including infection prevention, surveillance, and outbreak response activities, for close to 15 years. She has supervised the response to many outbreaks of infections and other adverse events in dialysis centers, has overseen the National Healthcare Safety Network’s Dialysis Event surveillance system, which tracks infection events among patients in over 6800 participating hemodialysis facilities, and worked closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to strengthen infection prevention elements of end stage renal disease quality and safety programs.

Dr. Patel co-led an initiative to reduce bloodstream infections among dialysis patients. Her team demonstrated that these infections could be prevented through adherence to a set of catheter care and infection prevention practices, which led to participating facilities lowering their rates of infection.

In 2016, Dr. Patel helped to launch the CDC’s Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition and served as the coalition’s medical director. Through this coalition, the CDC developed partnerships with more than 90 kidney community, public health, and patient safety organizations committed to preventing hemodialysis-associated infections. Dr. Patel has also served as a CDC representative to ASN’s Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety Project Committee.

Dr. Patel has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and other scientific publications. She contributed to the Department of Health and Human Services National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in ESRD facilities and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Guide to the Elimination of Infections in Hemodialysis.

She received a patient engagement and advocacy award from the American Association of Kidney Patients for her contributions to improving the lives of kidney patients.

Dr. Patel received her MPH degree from the Columbia University School of Public Health and attended medical school at Howard University. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and then served as an epidemic intelligence service officer in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC. She completed a preventive medicine residency at the CDC and was assigned to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

October-November 2020 (Vol. 12, Number 10 & 11)