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Kidney Professionals Named as 2019 Medal of Excellence Award Winners


Deborah Pelaez
Marketing and Communications Manager
(800) 749-AAKP


America’s Largest Independent Kidney Patient Organization Recognizes Top Professionals

January 17, 2019–Tampa, FL – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), America’s largest independent, patient-lead kidney advocacy organization, has announced recipients of its 2019 Medal of Excellence. The award is the Association’s highest honor for kidney healthcare professionals and designed to elevate national and international figures who have been in the forefront of advancements in kidney care and patient empowerment.“As AAKP celebrates our 50th Anniversary, it is an honor to recognize professionals who are committed to improving and extending the lives of all kidney patients through research, technology and quality treatments that increase patient care choice and better align with their aspirations to live, work and contribute. AAKP’s national strategy is designed to increase patient engagement and advocacy through alliances with credible experts and organizations and our 2019 Medal of Excellence recipients exceed the highest levels of professional excellence from the patient viewpoint and are superb representatives for their respective fields,” stated Richard Knight, AAKP President, and a kidney transplant recipient.A review committee selected this year’s honorees based on numerous nominations. The award program recognizes a variety of professionals including: nephrologist, transplant surgeon, transplant professional, nurse, social worker, dietitian and dialysis technician – all recognized at events hosted throughout the year in front of a community of their peers. The 2019 honorees are:

  • Stephen Z. Fadem, MD, FACP, FASN; Kidney Associates, LLC (Houston, TX) – Physician Category
  • Sherilyn Gordon, MD, FACS, Methodist Hospital (Houston, TX) – Transplant Surgeon Category presented posthumously
  • Ronald Gill, PhD, Colorado Center for Transplantation Care (Aurora, CO) – Transplant Professional Category
  • Barbara Casazza, FNP, The Rogosin Institute (Woodside, NY) – Nursing Category
  • Renee Bova-Collis, MSW, LCSW, Quality Insights Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition (Richmond, VA) – Social Work Category
  • Stacey Phillips, RD, LD, Mercy Health (Grand Rapids, MI) – Dietetic Category
  • Dwelyn Williams, CCHT, DaVita Kidney Care (Orlando, FL) – Dialysis Technician Category

AAKP is proud to recognize such deserving individuals; whose individual career achievements set an example of the best in patient-centered care. The 2019 honorees represent every sector of the renal community and demonstrate

the profound impact each member of the healthcare team has on patient outcomes, quality of life and helping those affected by chronic kidney disease achieve their aspirations.

Medal of Excellence 2019 recognition events:

  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons Winter Symposium (January 12): Honored the late Sherilyn Gordon, MD, FACS during ASTS Awards Ceremony.
  • National Association of Nephrology Technicians Dialysis Tech ConneXion Annual Conference (March 20): Honoring Dwelyn Williams, CCHT.
  • Medal of Excellence Award Dinner held in conjunction with the Renal Physicians Association’s Annual Meeting (March 29): Honoring Stephen Fadem, MD; Barbara Casazza, FNP; Renee Bova-Collis, MSW, LCSW; and Stacey Phillips, RD, LD.
  • American Society of Transplantation Town Hall (June 3): Honoring Ronald Gill, PhD.

For additional information on this year’s award recipients, recognition events, to purchase tickets to the Medal of Excellence Award Dinner on March 29th, or to sponsor the 2019 Medal of Excellence program, please visit https://aakp.org/medal-of-excellence/ or contact Erin Kahle, Director of Stakeholder Operations, ekahle@aakp.org or (813) 400-2393.


Founded in 1969, AAKP is the largest and oldest independent kidney patient organization in America. Governed by a patient-majority Board of Directors, AAKP conducts national education programs designed to better inform kidney patients, care-givers and policy-makers about the true impacts of kidney disease, prevention efforts and treatment methods. AAKP executes a national advocacy strategy in conjunction with allied kidney organizations designed to insert the patient voice into proposed policies, research efforts and care deliberations before the Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress.

Follow AAKP on social media at:

Facebook: @kidneypatient
Twitter: @kidneypatients
Instagram: @kidneypatients