Medical Advisory Committee
Collaboration with expert reviewers supports our commitment to helping people with kidney disease live their healthiest lives. The American Kidney Fund’s (AKF) top-rated education materials and award-winning education campaigns help patients to manage all aspects of this complicated disease, while also raising awareness and increasing understanding among the general public.
The American Kidney Fund Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) reviews all education materials and website content published by the American Kidney Fund to ensure:
- All content is medically accurate.
- All recommendations for patient care align with the most up-to-date, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
The MAC is a multidisciplinary team of nephrologists, nurses, researchers, and other leading kidney disease experts in the field. Many MAC members are also American Society of Nephrology members, grantees of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or former American Kidney Fund Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program fellows.
Frances Ashe-Goins is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing and Arnold School of Public Health, and a health consultant with expertise in nursing, minority health and public health issues. She is on several boards and concentrates her volunteer activities with national and local organization that address lupus, kidney disease, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence and sexual assault, human trafficking, maternal mortality, minority women’s health, and healthy youth.
Dr. Ashfaq is an Internist and Nephrologist by training and is board certified in both internal medicine and nephrology. After finishing medical school, Dr. Ashfaq did his internal medicine internship and residency at Good Samaritan Hospital, University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was also a Chief Resident. He then joined North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University School of Medicine for fellowship in Nephrology.
Dr Vinod K Bansal graduated from SMS Medical College, University of Rajasthan in India with both MBBS and MD and further did nephrology training at University of Colorado and UCLA Ceder Sinai. He is Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Ambulatory dialysis unit and the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. He serves on the editorial board of the American journal of Nephrology and has served in leadership positions in the American Kidney Fund.
Dr. Burton has held many key positions during his years of service in the Montgomery, Alabama medical community. He was Chief of Staff of Humana East Hospital. He was a founding member of Montgomery Surgical Center and Alabama Athletic and Physical Rehabilitation Center, as well as on the Board of Directors at both facilities. He also served on the Board of Directors of Med One Emergency Clinic and was Director of Sports Medicine Program at Jacksons Hospital.
Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, the first woman to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands, a multi-island territory in the eastern Caribbean. During her tenure, Christensen, the first female medical doctor to serve in Congress, focused on improving the living conditions and economic opportunities on the Islands, especially where they intersected with federal issues.
Dr. Gutiérrez is currently a Professor of Medicine and head of the Section of Epidemiology and Outcomes Research in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Using both epidemiologic and patient-oriented clinical research approaches, the primary focus of Dr. Gutiérrez’s group has been elucidating the mechanisms by which disorders of bone and mineral metabolism and nutrition impact outcomes in individuals with chronic kidney disease.
Dr. Hall investigated differential outcomes among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans with ESRD. He completed the UCSF Advanced Training in Clinical Research Program and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology and a Core Investigator at the Kidney Research Institute of the University of Washington.
Dr. Kleinpeter, MD is a practicing Nephrologist in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Kleinpeter graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1989 and has been in practice for 30 years. She completed a residency at Tulane University School of Medicine New Orleans LA 1993.
Dr. Alan Leichtman is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology of the University of Michigan, and has served as the Primary Physician for the University of Michigan's Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Programs since 1989 and as the Medical Director of the University of Michigan’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Programs from 1989 through 2005.
Dr. Richard Miller is a thoracic surgeon at UPMC Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Prior to this he was a thoracic surgeon at Southcoast Health, a position he has held since 2012. He was the first Physician in Chief for Surgery at Southcoast Health from 2012-18.
Dr. Silas Norman was born and educated in Detroit. He attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, graduating with a degree in psychology. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Norman worked for two years for Lutheran Social Services of Michigan as a foster care worker. He then attended Wayne State University School of Medicine, graduating with honors, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. After completing an internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Dr. Norman returned to the University of Michigan to pursue nephrology and transplant nephrology fellowships.
Matt Poffenroth, MD, MBA, is board-certified in internal medicine, Vice President with Inova Health System and serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer for Signature Partners Network, the clinically integrated network associated with Inova Health System. In this role, he leads the clinical integration and quality improvement efforts amongst more than 2000 physicians, 11 hospitals and two health systems.
Dr. Robert J. Rubin is currently Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and an independent healthcare consultant. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Dr. Rubin was president of The Lewin Group, an international health care consultancy, for 17 years. Dr. Rubin was the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Reagan.
Delphine S. Tuot, MDCM, MAS, is a nephrologist, director of the San Francisco Health Network eConsult program, co-director of the UCSF Center for Innovation in Access and Quality at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG), and associate professor of medicine in UCSF’s Division of Nephrology at ZSFG.
Gail Wick began her career in nephrology nursing in 1970 as a member of the nursing staff that helped open the first renal ICU and transplant unit in Georgia located at Grady Memorial Hospital. Until recently, she worked as a consultant for ESRD-related care, quality, education, and policy issues contracting with dozens of freestanding and hospital based, for profit and not for profit dialysis clinics throughout the United States, as well as with manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies in the areas of new product utilization and education.
Julie Wright-Nunes, MD, MPH, has a strong interest in the area of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its prevention, currently focusing on the development of methods and tools to help facilitate and optimize patient-provider disease related communication. As a CSN Fellow, Dr. Wright-Nunes’s research, “Facilitating Physician Delivered CKD Patient Education,” evaluated kidney disease specific knowledge in patients with CKD, using a validated survey. Patient knowledge gaps identified in the survey were used to develop a literacy sensitive educational intervention, used by nephrologists while delivering patient CKD education and care.
The American Kidney Fund enlists experienced renal dietitians to review all nutrition education content on KidneyFund.org and KidneyFund.org/kitchen. The team of dietitian reviewers ensures that all content is accurate and aligns with evidence-based dietetics practice and current nutrition guidelines.
Carolyn is originally from Saint Louis, MO and has been a dietitian in the Washington, D.C. area since 2011. Currently, she is the Kidney Transplant Dietitian at The George Washington University Hospital. Prior to her current role, she worked for a dialysis company as a dietitian. She found her passion for renal nutrition when her nephew was born with only one kidney. In her career she seeks out opportunities to educate the general public about the importance of early detection of kidney disease and the importance of a healthy diet for kidney health.
Aisling Whelan MS, RDN, CDN is a registered dietitian who uses a whole-person, whole-food based approach to help clients reclaim their health and improve their quality of life. Aisling has extensive experience working with the chronic kidney disease population. Her first introduction to renal nutrition began when she worked as a dietitian in a hemodialysis facility. In this role, Aisling was surprised to learn that most of her patients had never met with a dietitian prior to starting dialysis. It was this discovery that inspired Aisling to start her own private practice specializing in nutrition therapy for pre-dialysis CKD patients.