MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRPERSON

Message From the Chairperson Judy Kirk, MS, RD, CSR, CDN, FNKF

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HIS ISSUE MARKS my debut as Chairperson for the Council of Renal Nutrition (CRN). I am grateful to all who mentored, supported, and believed in me thus motivating me to becoming an active member of the CRN. To introduce myself, I will tell you my story, presently the chapter in my career as a nephrology dietitian. I began my journey by becoming a member of a local council, participating in meetings, and continuing education offers. A few years later, I volunteered for the role of Secretary for my local council in Rochester, New York. I served in this office for 2 years. I discovered that this was a gratifying experience as I had the opportunity to network with peers in my region on another level beyond going to meetings and mainly interacting with my colleagues that I knew most. I was then asked to be the Chair of my local council. I was uncertain at first but decided this was a chance to challenge myself and broaden my horizons. I have been in the position of Chair for the past 3 years and have learned much about program planning and procuring continuing education units for my council members and area dietitians. Two years ago, I entered an application for Region 1 Representative, and I was elected to this position. As a Region 1 Representative, the National Kidney Foundation sponsored me to attend the annual Spring Clinical Meeting. Working through national CRN meetings with peers from across the country, I learned a greater scope of the renal community and the wealth of information, challenges, and resources that are available. This changed how I viewed myself as a nephrology dietitian in a clinic in Rochester, New York to being a part of a bigger picture. This point of view intensified my career fulfillment. This year I was nominated to be Chairperson for the CRN. I am honored and privileged to have this position. As Chairperson for the CRN, I would like to focus on communication. A word so often used and common but without good communication many prospective ventures are never completed. When the CRN meets for the 2015 Spring Clinical Meeting in Dallas, Texas, we will have opportunities for the discussion of joint Rochester Regional Health System, Rochester, New York. Financial Disclosure: The author declares that there are no relevant financial interests. Address correspondence to Judy Kirk, MS, RD, CSR, CDN, FNKF, 370 Ridge Road East Rochester, NY 14621. E-mail: [email protected]

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2015 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. 1051-2276/$36.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jrn.2014.12.003

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projects with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Group, educational resources for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Web site—effective ways to communicate this information to professionals and patients, best practices across the country, legislative issues, and how to have a voice in support of renal patient outcomes and survey results on what CRN members are looking for from membership in the NKF/CRN. These are some topics on the agenda for this Spring Meeting. An important outcome will be communicating the process to you, our NKF/CRN members, as well as all nephrology dietitians that can benefit from and become future NKF/CRN members. I plan to communicate through this Chairperson letter as well as asking the Region Representatives to follow through and communicate to the local CRN Chairs and councils in their regions. Please feel free to voice your concerns and give me your input as well. We all face a changing health care market with reimbursement, bundling, and providing quality patient care with fewer resources. There are varied settings in which we provide patient care: in-center dialysis units, home programs, transplant programs, and corporate sales positions. There are corporate programs, free standing, or hospitalbased programs. Regardless of where we are, communication and networking is vital. I know most dietitians have access to some continuing education unit (CEU) offerings but face-to-face communication/discussion at local chapter meetings is priceless. Anyone who has attended an NKF Spring Clinical Meeting will attest to the wealth of knowledge and cutting edge research that is available throughout the conference meetings. Some of these sessions are then offered through the NKF as webinars for CEUs available to members and for councils to offer at local meetings. I urge anyone who has not attended a national meeting to consider it, you will be amazed! I also realize the reality is that all our members may not be able to attend a national meeting. When you belong to a local CRN council, often there is a member who has attended the conference and is able to present program highlights at a chapter meeting; this method of communication brings national and international research to a personal local level. One more item I would like to communicate to you. Become involved! It starts with a passion and desire to help our renal patients; a quality that we all possess. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and become an active member of NKF/CRN, the rewards are amazing.

Journal of Renal Nutrition, Vol 25, No 2 (March), 2015: p 136

Message from the Chairperson.

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