Medal of Excellence

Medal of Excellence recipients are health care professionals who have contributed to the advancement and evolution of direct patient care, encouraged the expansion of the patient engagement model within the renal community and enhanced the quality of life for kidney patients and their families.

The 2017 Medal of Excellence Award recipients have been chosen!

The 2017 honorees are:

Special Recognition Category

Celeste Lee, former Manager of the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care Programs at University of Michigan and former Board Member and Chair of the Patient and Family Partnership Council for the Kidney Health Initiative (Greater Detroit Area, Michigan)

Physician Category

William E.  Mitch, MD, Professor of Medicine, Selzman Institute for Kidney Health, Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas)

Nursing Category

Helen Currier, BSN, RN, CNN, CENP, Director of Renal and Pheresis Services at Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston, Texas)

Social Work Category

Mary Beth Callahan, ACSW, LCSW, Senior Social Worker at Dallas Transplant Institute (Dallas, Texas)

Dietitian Category

Janelle Gonyea, RDN, LD, FNKF, Clinical Dietitian at Mayo Clinic Dialysis Services and Assistant Professor of Nutrition, College of Medicine (Rochester, Minnesota)

Technician Category

Philip M. Varughese, BS, CHT, Facility Administrator at DaVita, Inc. (Hillsborough, New Jersey)

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, March 17, 2017

The honorees of this prestigious award are recognized throughout the 2017 year. The first recognition event is the Medal of Excellence Award Dinner taking place on Friday, March 17 in Nashville, TN at the Omni Nashville Hotel in conjunction with the Renal Physicians’ Association’s Annual Meeting. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception from 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., followed by the Award Dinner from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. This program will recognize the Medal of Excellence Award recipients and honor their career commitment to patients. Tickets to attend the dinner may be purchased for $125/each (online ticket sales will be coming soon). Individuals may also contact AAKP directly at (813) 400-2395 to purchase dinner ticket(s).

Fellow colleagues, members of the renal community and RPA meeting attendees are encouraged to join in honoring these distinguished recipients and helping AAKP continue its mission to improve the quality of life for kidney patients through education, advocacy, and the fostering or patient communities.

  • For more information on the Medal of Excellence or to become a sponsor of this program, please contact Diana Clynes, Dir. of Programs & Services (P) 813-400-2391 (F) 813-636-8122 (E)


Medal of Excellence Sponsorship 

Want to become a sponsor of the Medal of Excellence? Sponsors receive a variety of benefits and will be recognized for their support throughout the entire year at all Medal of Excellence Program events which will be hosted in conjunction with a number of health care professional meetings and events. For questions about sponsorship, please contact Diana Clynes, Dir. of Programs & Services (P) 813-400-2391 (F) 813-636-8122 (E)

Thank you to our 2017 Medal of Excellence Sponsors:

Silver Level

Dallas Nephrology Associates

Fresenius Medical Care-NA

Bronze Level

Amgen, Inc.

DaVita, Inc.

Texas Children’s Hospital

Patron Level

American Society of Nephrology

National Renal Administrators Association

Supporting Level

Renal Physicians Association