Stephen Z. Fadem, MD - Chair
Dr. Fadem is a champion for Chronic Kidney Disease education. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Nephrology. He attended Tulane University and graduated the University Of Oklahoma College Of Medicine. He completed his Internship andResidency at the University of Texas Health Science Center – MD Anderson and Hermann Hospitals, and his Renal Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. He was one of the first doctors to discover the value of the Internet for patient education, and is the founder of several websites dedicated to public service and the dissemination of clinical information including The Nephron Information Center, Wikikidney and dialysisunits.com. He has participated heavily in the development and the revision of the AAKP Patient Plan. Dr. Fadem is the recipient of the National Kidney Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award, the AAKP Visionary Award and the AAKP Peter Lundin Award. He serves as co-editor of aakpRENALIFE. Dr Fadem is listed in America’s Top Doctors.
Akhtar Ashfaq, MD
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. After completing fellowship, he joined a private practice in Lewistown, Pennsylvania for a short time. In 1997, Dr. Ashfaq was appointed on the faculty of North Shore University Hospital and then on the faculty of NS-LIJ Health system, Albert Einstein College Of Medicine. During this time he served as associate program director of nephrology fellowship program, Director of inpatient services, Director of Clinical trials. In 2005, Dr. Ashfaq was appointed as Associate Chief Division of Nephrology and he stayed on this position until April of 2009 when he left academia and joined Amgen Inc. as Clinical Research Medical Director where he leads North American Medical team for Epogen. In addition, he is medical lead for policy, strategy and advocacy for nephrology franchise. He also represents Amgen on Kidney care partners, a coalition of several stakeholders, serving nephrology community.
During his career, Dr. Ashfaq has published in Major Nephrology Journals, has contributed to Internal Medicine and Nephrology text books, he has been a reviewer for most of the journals and also served as a reviewer of NephSAP. He has been on the editorial board of Journal of Nephrology. He has received many teaching awards. He was also the founder of Long Island chapter of polycystic kidney disease foundation.
His major area of interest is patient awareness and education and improving the life of patients with chronic kidney disease.
Christopher Blagg, MD
Dr. Blagg is a champion for home dialysis. He graduate of the University of Leeds, and spent much of his career at Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle. He has been a pioneer in the development of chronic dialysis, and more specifically home dialysis. He is the recipient of both the Peter Lundin Award and the Medal of Excellence. In addition he has won the American Kidney Fund’s Torchbearer Award. He is the recipient of the Annual Dialysis Conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the James W. Haviland Awrd. He is Professor of Medicine Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle. He has contributed heavily to several AAKP projects, and is co-editor of RenalLife and editor of Hemodialysis International.
Tejas Desai, MD
Dr. Desai is Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training at New York University and completed a Chief Resident year at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Jersey City, NJ. Subsequently, Dr. Desai completed specialty training in Nephrology and Hypertension at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Desai serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Kidney Patients, and is a committee member of the American Society of Nephrology’s Communications Committee and Group for Enduring Materials Subcommittee. Dr. Desai’s scholarly inquiries focus on assessing the educational effectiveness of social media and Internet-based instruments using standard scientific methods and established statistical models. He is the creator and lead developer of Nephrology On-Demand, an award-winning website focused on nephrology education for patients and healthcare providers. Dr. Desai attends inpatient service at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC, and outpatient clinic and dialysis patients at the ECU Nephrology and Hypertension offices. As Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine, Dr. Desai leads the development of social-media based educational and recruitment services for residents and medical students, respectively. He is a fellow of the National Kidney Foundation.
Richard Glassock, MD
Dr. Glassock is recognized as a world leader in nephrology. Most recently, he is demonstrating to clinicians the role of volume control in improving the outcomes of kidney patients. He graduated from UCLA School of Medicine, and did his internship and residency there as well. He then did his renal fellowship at Harvard Medical School, at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. He has been president of the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology, and has received the highest accolades from several organizations: the Torchbearer Award from the American Kidney Fund, the David Hume Award from The National Kidney Foundation and the Robert Narins Award from the American Society of Nephrology. He is Emeritus Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA.
Peter A Laird, MD
Dr. Laird offers a unique perspective as a home hemodialysis patient and an internal medicine physician. He is a graduate of Boston University School of Medicine and did his internal medicine residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colorado. He was a practicing physician at the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group.
Nathan Levin, MD
Dr. Levin is a leader in research innovation and guideline development. He received his training in South Africa, and has spent his career dedicated to improving the outcomes of patients with chronic renal failure. He is the founder of The Renal Research Institute, and was the Founding Co-Chairman of the NKF KDOQI Guidelines. He is a past president of the Renal Physicians Association and a past recipient of the AAKP’s Medal of Excellence.
Robert Miller, MD
Dr. Miller is a Pediatric Nephrologists practicing in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Miller is a member of the American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, International Society of Pediatric Nephrology, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics and the New Mexico Pediatric Society.
Keith Norris, MD
Dr. Norris is a nephrologist and serves as the executive vice president for research and health affairs at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and assistant dean for clinical and translational science at the Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. His research interests focus on hypertension and chronic kidney disease with an emphasis on health disparities.
Dr. Norris has received numerous honors and awards from students, peers, community, and professional organizations, including the AAKP A. Peter Lundin, M.D. Award. Most recently, in January 2012, he was the Diversity Council of the Department of Medicine and the Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 9th annual Visiting Professor.
Dr. Norris has served the AAKP with many live and written patient education presentations and a decade of service on the AAKP Board of Directors and/or Medical Advisory Board.
Thomas G. Peters, MD
Dr. Peters is Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, and formerly the Methodist Medical Center Professor of Surgery at the University of Florida. He directed the UF kidney transplant programs in both Jacksonville and Gainesville over the course of 25 years. After earning the M.D. degree at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Peters trained in general surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin and organ transplant surgery at the University of Colorado. His academic and research interests have centered on clinical outcomes in kidney transplantation and public policy issues related to organ donation. The AAKP has honored him with its Peter Lundin MD Memorial, Maureen Lundin AAKP Renalife, Samuel J. Orenstein, and Spirit of Service Awards. Dr. Peters has served the AAKP with many live and written patient education presentations, five years as medical co-editor of Renalife, and a decade of service on the AAKP Board of Directors.
Rebecca Schmidt, DO
Dr. Schmidt has led efforts to improve access to care for patients living in remote, rural areas. She is a graduate of the University of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA, and did a rotating internship at Mt. Clemens General Hospital, Mt.Clemens, MI. She then did her residency and fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital and is presently a Professor and Chief of the Division of Nephrology, West Virginia School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV. She is a member of the Board of the Renal Physicians Association. Dr. Schmidt has led efforts in her state to coordinate logistics to increase access to nephrologists for rural-based patients. Her husband is a kidney transplant recipient.
Roberta Wager, RN, MSN
Ms. Wager has served as the president of AAKP, a member of the board of directors and is a strong advocate of patient care. She is a transplant recipient and a nurse educator at Fresenius Medical Care in San Antonio. She has been active at a state and national level in lobbying for kidney patients.
Leslie P. Wong, MD
Dr. Wong received his MD at the University Of Texas Southwestern School Of Medicine in Dallas, and his internship, residency and renal fellowship at the University of North Carolina. He is a nephrologist in the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.