UPMC Physician Named President of National Kidney Foundation

By: Martin Kinnunen

A UPMC physician specializing in kidney disease has been appointed the president of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

Beth Piraino, M.D., of the UPMC Kidney Clinic, Renal-Electrolyte Division and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, plans to focus on increasing public awareness about the dangers of kidney disease.

Beth Piraino, M.D.

“So many people are at risk for or have kidney disease but are not aware of this,” Dr. Piraino said. “During my term as president, I want to focus on community outreach to bring awareness to the population about the impact kidney disease has on people’s lives, and what can be done to combat this growing problem.”

Dr. Piraino plans to pursue these goals by building on established National Kidney Foundation educational efforts and advancing them. She will be working on NKF’s nationwide awareness campaign targeted at those at highest risk for developing kidney disease and the primary care providers who diagnose and treat these patients.

“By forming collaborative partnerships with health care providers and educating patients and professionals on early recognition of kidney disease and appropriate intervention, it’s possible to slow or reverse kidney disease and improve patient outcomes,” Dr. Piraino said.

In her own practice, Piraino has a passion for patient-centered care. “I believe that empowering patients to take an active role in their health care treatment, even in the face of a serious illness, results in positive outcomes. This perspective will shape my approach to my work with the NKF, an organization that has always positioned patients as the most important member of the health care team.”

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the United States dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease.