National Kidney Foundation Appoints Dr. Paul M. Palevsky as President


Dr. Paul M. Palevsky

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is pleased to announce that Dr. Paul M. Palevsky, a nephrologist and Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Chief of Kidney Medicine at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, has begun his two-year term as president of NKF's Board of Directors.

He replaces NKF's outgoing President Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Loyola University, Chicago.

"I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to help lead the National Kidney Foundation and to advocate for the estimated 37 million adults in the U.S. with kidney disease and the millions more at risk," Dr. Palevsky said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has made apparent the vulnerabilities of patients with kidney disease and has highlighted disparities in medical care, particularly among minority communities, that we must address. I am grateful to Dr. Kramer for the superb leadership that she has provided to NKF over the past two years and hope that I can provide the same level of passion and insight that she has in advocating for the needs of patients with kidney disease."

As a student, Dr. Palevsky was drawn to nephrology despite originally planning on going into endocrinology. He credits an extraordinary teacher, Dr. Zalman Agus, who inspired him. Like all NKF Board members, Dr. Palevsky also has a personal connection to kidney disease. Dr. Palevsky said a childhood friend suffered from congenital kidney disease and died young from the complications.

"Dr. Palevsky clearly understands the landscape of nephrology and will utilize his broad skillset to advance the goals of the National Kidney Foundation," Dr. Kramer said. "I look forward to his leadership when NKF is more important than ever – during a pandemic that poses a unique danger to kidney patients."

Dr. Palevsky, is Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science in the Renal-Electrolyte Division at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is Chief of the Kidney Medicine (Renal) Section at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He completed his undergraduate and medical education at Northwestern University followed by an internship and residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in nephrology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh since 1989.

Dr. Palevsky is internationally recognized as an expert in acute kidney injury and critical care nephrology and has helped lead multiple clinical trials focused on management of acute dialysis, prevention of acute kidney injury and slowing the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

He has published more than 260 original articles, reviews, and book chapters. He has held multiple editorial positions, including the inaugural associate editor for acute kidney injury of the American Society of Nephrology's nephSAP, deputy editor of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and deputy editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Dr. Palevsky has received numerous awards including the NKF's 2017 J. Michael Lazarus Distinguished Award, which is given to recognize individuals whose research has yielded novel insights related to renal replacement therapy.

The NKF Board of Directors consists of leaders in their communities who have been affected by kidney disease. They are nephrologists, kidney healthcare professionals, living donors, transplant recipients, care partners, top executives with diverse business experience, and civic leaders. The Board meets three times per year and is charged with fiduciary, fundraising, and governance responsibilities for NKF. Board members serve a term of three years and may be elected for a second term.

Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don't know they have it. 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.

About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit

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