Debbie Cote has been a nephrology nurse for 31 years; she currently works for the University of Virginia Health System as the Administrator for the Dialysis Program. She oversees 9, soon to be 11 chronic facilities, 4 home programs and 3 acute programs in Central Virginia. She actively volunteers her time for professional organizations. She is currently the President of NRAA, and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition’s Board of Directors. She is a Past President of the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission and still actively participates in the development of certification exams.
Elizabeth is a nephrology social worker at Sterling dialysis in Sterling, Virginia. She has been a renal social worker since 1991. Elizabeth has worked in both hospital and outpatient settings with endocrine, dialysis, and transplant patients. She is also a divisional lead social worker for DaVita in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Elizabeth has volunteered with DPC and NKF. Her journey with kidney disease has been both professional and profoundly personal. She was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 1991 due to primary membranous glomerulopathy. Elizabeth feels passionate about education and patient empowerment.
Rajnish Mehrotra, M.D., is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and is section head of Nephrology at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Previously, Dr. Mehrotra served as the Associate Chief for the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA. He is a leading expert in the care of patients undergoing maintenance dialysis for the treatment of end-stage renal disease with special interest in peritoneal dialysis. He has published over 200 articles and/or book chapters and his work has been supported by grants from, among others, the National Institutes of Health and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He was awarded the John Maher Award by the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis in 2006 and has served as the Chair of the Dialysis Advisory Group of the American Society of Nephrology (2009-’15).
He is currently the Treasurer of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis since 2014 and the President of the North American Chapter of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis. He is also the Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. He has served as an Associate Editor of Peritoneal Dialysis International and NephSAP, and section editor for Clinical Nephrology. He is currently a member of the editorial board for the Kidney International, American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, and Journal of Renal Nutrition. He has served as Chair of the Education Committee and Membership Committee of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis and a member of the Council of the Society in the past.
Dr. Mehrotra completed his medical schooling at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, underwent residency training at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and fellowship training at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He obtained a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Research at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Cheryl Neal, MD, founded MIKE Program in 2003 to mentor young people toward healthier lives. Dr. Neal serves as the full-time volunteer, unpaid Executive Director of MIKE. Dr. Neal is a retired Portland-area internist, who trained in nephrology at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. She is a graduate of the OHSU School of Medicine (formerly the University of Oregon School of Medicine). Inspired by the work and convictions of her late husband, Portland kidney specialist Mike Hartnett, MD, she oversees a grassroots effort to empower young people to advocate for and adopt healthier behaviors, especially in communities most susceptible to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which lead to kidney failure.
Joan Thomas is the Director of Emergency Management for the Kidney Community Emergency Response Program, developing and implementing national emergency management and business continuity initiatives and disaster coordination, that includes 18 ESRD Networks covering the United States and its territories under the direction of CMS. She is an adjunct professor at the Metropolitan College of New York, teaching graduate-level courses in emergency management and business continuity. Ms. Thomas earned an MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management and studied advanced security and anti-terrorism with the Israel Military Industries Academy. Ms. Thomas holds FEMA certifications as a Master Exercise Practitioner and Professional Continuity Practitioner. She is also a certified Business Continuity Planner (DRII) and Certified Emergency Manager (IAEM).