Improving Outcomes and Reducing Costs for Diabetic Kidney Disease
Joseph A. Vassalotti, MD
Dr. Vassalotti is the Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He received his medical degree with Distinction in Research from the SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine and completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. At NKF, his major focus is implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in chronic kidney disease (CKD), including the NKF’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI), particularly through guidance of the NKF’s primary care initiative, called CKD intercept. He has served as co-PI for the CDC Demonstration Project “CKD Health Evaluation and Risk Information Sharing (CHERISH)”, which aimed to identify individuals at high risk for CKD in the U.S. and as an investigator for the NIH-sponsored clustered practice randomized trial entitled, evidenced-based primary care for CKD. Leadership also includes multiple roles over the last decade with the CMS Fistula First national quality improvement initiative for hemodialysis, including as Lead Physician Consultant from 2013 through 2015. He has served on numerous committees that shape innovation and health policy in kidney disease for the CDC, the NIH and CMS. Currently, he serves as Principal Investigator for the Kidney Score Platform an NKF educational project funded by the Veterans Administration Center for Innovation to improve awareness and education among Veterans with and at risk for CKD in the primary care setting. Dr. Vassalotti has over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America.
George L. Bakris, MD, MA
George Bakris, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and reduction of high blood pressure, particularly in complicated and refractory cases. He is also skilled in the treatment of kidney disease, with special expertise in diabetes-related kidney disease and slowing its progression. As director of the Comprehensive Hypertension Center he oversees the interpretation of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) for the institution, a technique that provides information about blood pressure over the 24 hour period, including during sleep. In his research activities, Dr. Bakris explores why the rate of kidney disease is significantly higher in the black population than it is in other ethnic groups. He also evaluates specific markers of kidney disease progression and heightened cardiovascular risk, as well as how changes in the artery (central pressure) affect the heart and kidney. Dr. Bakris has been extensively involved as either a principal investigator or on the steering committees of national and international trials involving diabetic kidney disease progression and resistant hypertension. He is the principal investigator of the FIDELIO trial evaluating a novel agent on progression of diabetic kidney disease. He is also on the steering committee of two other international trials involving agents that lower blood pressure or blood sugar and assessing effects on diabetic kidney disease progression. He recently completed studies on renal denervation for resistant hypertension and use of a recently FDA-approved agent, patiromer, for controlling serum potassium in high-risk people with advanced kidney disease. And, he has served on many guidelines committees over the past 15 years and is currently the chair of the American Diabetes Association Blood Pressure Consensus Panel and a member of the American Heart Association panel updating resistant hypertension guidelines. Dr. Bakris received the Irvine Page-Alva Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award to acknowledge his lifetime of outstanding achievements in the field of hypertension.
Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. He has extensive training and expertise in lipidology and echocardiography. He holds additional certifications from the American Board of Clinical Lipidology and the National Board of Echocardiography. Dr. McCullough specializes in treating patients with complicated internal medicine problems that have affected important organs including the heart and kidneys. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Baylor University, Dr. McCullough completed his medical degree as an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He went on to complete his internal medicine residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, a cardiology fellowship including service as Chief Fellow at William Beaumont Hospital, and a master's degree in public health at the University of Michigan. Dr. McCullough oversees cardiology training, education, and research for Baylor Health Care System and is Vice Chief of Medicine at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. He is an internationally recognized authority in his field and frequently lectures on internal medicine, nephrology, and cardiology. In addition, he has published over a thousand related scientific communications. He is currently serving as the chair of the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program, the largest community screening effort for chronic diseases in America. As both a primary care physician and specialist, Dr. McCullough welcomes patients with complicated internal medicine problems that have affected important organs including the heart and kidneys. He is knowledgeable about the roles of diet and exercise in health and disease and commonly provide guidance concerning dietary supplements and treatments for obesity. He has an intimate practice style with frequent patient contact and 24 X 7 access for questions and help with medical problems. His practice involves both teaching and research, therefore, his patients are among the first to have new tests and treatments for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease. Dr. McCullough is on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center, Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, and The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano. He is also on staff at Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute which promotes cardiovascular research and education.