American Society of Nephrology Announces 2019-2021 Kidney Health Initiative Co-Chair

Newswise — Washington, D.C. (November 1, 2018)— The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) today announced former ASN President Raymond C. Harris, Jr., MD, FASN, will serve as co-chair for its Kidney Health Initiative (KHI). Harris, a professor of medicine, molecular physiology, and biophysics, is Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease and former chief of the nephrology division of Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

With more than 90-member organizations, KHI is the largest consortia in the kidney community. Established as a public-private partnership between ASN and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), KHI connects, collaborates and innovates. KHI works to advance kidney health issues and optimize evaluation of drugs, devices, biologics, and food products via patient, health care professional, scientist, industry, and government collaboration.

“We’re pleased that Dr. Harris will share his leadership acumen as the second ASN co-chair for KHI—he’s passionate about the Kidney Health Initiative and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said ASN President Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN. “He brings enthusiasm and skill for engaging diverse groups to achieve a common vision.”

Harris said with KHI’s previous success delivering meaningful results on individual questions related to kidney disease, harnessing the Initiative’s strengths will allow it to tackle bigger, more integrated projects.

He indicated that increasing KHI’s influence to help develop new therapies for kidney diseases and enhancing patient participation are key. “I will work with the KHI Board of Directors to sustain our current level of stakeholder enthusiasm, particularly the robust network among industry partners, and to support ASN’s close working relationship with the FDA,” Harris said.

Harris noted that the KHI membership can also help define more representative patient populations for trials and further develop guidelines for clinical trials, assessing lessons learned and ways to improve going forward. “Greater patient input into design and implementation of clinical trials is crucial for successful outcomes,” he said.

Harris cites KHI’s success incorporating patients not only into advisory but also decision-making roles within the organization. “It is important that these efforts continue. The benefits of increased outreach to more patient groups, especially those with rare diseases, is multi-fold,” he added.

Harris’s three-year term as KHI co-chair begins January 1, 2019, with the possibility of a second, three-year term.

About the American Society of Nephrology

Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 20,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit or contact us at 202-640-4660.