Healthcare Professionals

You are here

The Scientific Advisory Board advises the NKFM regarding programs and services, including research, public education, patient services, and professional education. Members are experts in the field of nephrology – physicians, researchers, nurses, nutritionists, and social workers.

Scientific Advisory Board Members

  • Khaled M. Ismail, M.D. -Chair
  • Silas Norman, M.D. -Past Chair
  • Basil Abdo, M.D.
  • Zeenat Y. Bhat, M.D.
  • Arti Bhan, M.D., F.A.C.E
  • Melissa J. Gregory, M.D.
  • Dina Hafez Griauzde, MD, MSc
  • Della Hughes Carter, RN, DNP, BC-GNP
  • Heather Henderson, D.O.
  • Gregory D. Krol, M.D., F.A.C.P.
  • Lalathaksha Kumbar, MD FASDIN
  • Saima Mansuri, M.D.
  • Tim McDonald
  • Yahya M. Osman, M.D.
  • Amy Barton Pai, PharmD, MHI
  • Rachel Perlman, M.D.
  • Gary Roth, D.O.
  • Rajiv Saran, M.D.
  • Sandeep Soman, M.D.
  • Randall S. Sung, M.D.


The Michigan Council of Nephrology Social Workers (MCNSW) is an organization of nephrology social workers serving patients in Michigan’s dialysis and kidney transplant centers. We are affiliated with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) and are a chapter of the Council of Nephrology Social Workers (CNSW) of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

Our quarterly meetings provide members with an opportunity to network, learn new medical facts, and gather information to advocate for quality patient care. The Council was organized to ensure communication between Michigan’s renal social workers. Members focus on discussing values, ideas, and problems. We also work toward improving our clinical knowledge base and our efficiency. The MCNSW is striving to improve the social work profession and find solutions to ongoing patient problems.

MCNSW enhances social work practice by the following: sharing educational tools; providing guest speakers; gathering data from dialysis units statewide; providing group support; and gathering current legislative, statistical, environmental, and insurance information that impacts Michigan renal patients.

MCNSW supports the nephrology community on a national and state level by holding national CNSW offices or committee positions; participating in NKFM fundraisers and special projects; serving on the Kidney Disease Advisory Committee; helping plan the annual NKFM professional symposium; serving on the Patient Services Committee of the NKFM and monitoring legislative and insurance issues on state and national levels, advocating when necessary.

Interested in becoming a member? Click here to apply and pay online- MCNSW Membership.

There are many great benefits to being an MCNSW member:

  • As a member, you will receive all MCNSW mailings, have voting privileges and continue to be updated on all of the current changes in the field of nephrology social work.        
  • You will gain access to membership on the MCNSW e-mail listserv where you can gather resources and ask questions of your fellow nephrology social workers across the state.
  • We hold quarterly in-person MCNSW meetings at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) that offer an opportunity to network, learn about new resources, and gather information to best advocate for quality patient care. These meetings offer a free afternoon speaker session from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. with social work CEUs.
  • You will receive a discounted rate for the Annual MCNSW Spring Symposium, which offers 6 CEUs and at the member rate is only $50.
  • You will be able to apply for educational stipends to offset costs for educational events.

For questions or additional information, please contact Nicole Schovers at [email protected].

Community Health Workers at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) has built a strong track record as a “catalytic” organization that provides innovative, community-focused interventions that improve the system by which at-risk individuals within a community are identified and connected to appropriate health care and social services. NKFM is viewed as a respected convener of public and private stakeholders to identify local needs and create appropriate interventions and services, including using Community Health Workers (CHW) to ensure at-risk individuals receive needed evidence-based health and social services. The NKFM has a 20+ year history of utilizing CHWs to deliver exceptional value by providing assistance in appropriate care transition services and evidence-based chronic disease self-management support in health care and community settings.

NKFM’s capacity in implementing systems change with the goal of improving health outcomes in underserved populations utilizes support from both community partners and CHWs. Sustained successes are exemplified by the Coalitions for Healthier Communities project funded by Office on Women’s Health (OWH), the Reducing Diabetes Disparities in Vulnerable Populations project funded by CDC, and the Lay Health Advisors project funded by the Division of Transplantation. Initiatives have embraced prevention-oriented models focused on disproportionate racial/ethnic health problems by supporting a systems approach to addressing health problems needing more intensive management, including efforts to increase awareness of the problems, improve cultural competency in care, and improve health outcomes for underserved populations.

A key to past success has been strategic collaborations with organizations across multiple sectors at both the state and local levels that are well-versed in the factors that shape health behaviors and address the many challenges in achieving effective strategies to produce better health outcomes and reduced costs. For example, from 2007-10, NKFM worked with community partners to train 352 CHWs to deliver the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which resulted in 2,765 people receiving self-management education in communities with high diabetes prevalence. During that same period, a similar CHW effort resulted in 16 sites to deliver Enhance Fitness, a low-cost evidence-based physical activity program held in locations in underserved communities, with 64 trained instructors and ~1,500 individual participants. In 2010, 138 NKFM-trained peer mentors had 1,615 personal contacts with Medicaid-covered kidney patients and their families.

Studies show that CHWs improve health outcomes, particularly in low-income populations, when they participate in disease prevention and chronic disease management models, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studies show that CHWs reduce health care costs by decreasing ambulatory care sensitive emergency room visits, hospitalizations including admissions and readmissions, and by improving individual and community capacity to understand their condition and utilize health care services appropriately. CHWs also work in a wide range of community resource development, community organization and policy change initiatives.

Community Health Workers are involved in a number of programs at the NKFM:

Enhance Fitness
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Diabetes Prevention Program

For more information about Community Health Workers at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, please contact Charlene Cole at [email protected] or 800-482-1455.