WVU Nephrologist receives Kidney Foundation Award

The National Kidney Foundation of the Alleghenies (NKFALL) has named West Virginia University’s Section Chief of Nephrology, Rebecca Schmidt, D.O., as the 2008 “Gift of Life Medical Award” recipient.

 Dr. Schmidt was nominated by her colleagues, who praised her work with chronic kidney disease and her ongoing efforts to decentralize disease care.  Chronic kidney disease is a major public health problem that affects 26 million adults in the United States; it is estimated that 235,000 of those adults are in West Virginia.  Schmidt’s hope is to empower doctors and patients to effectively manage chronic kidney disease.  Rebecca Schmidt, D.O., receives the “Gift of Life Award” from Dr. Ron Shapiro, director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. 
“Thanks to Dr. Schmidt's tireless efforts the National Kidney Foundation of the Alleghenies has conducted 22 free community health screenings in West Virginia through our Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP),” Deb Hartman, NKFALL chief executive officer, said .

KEEP is designed to detect kidney disease at its earliest stage, when prevention of kidney failure is still possible.  Nearly 1,400 West Virginians have been screened through the program.  More than half of those screened learned they may have kidney disease.  

“Our mission is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation,” Hartman said.  “Dr. Schmidt’s work in the region helps us carry out our mission and make care more accessible.  Her incredible passion for patients and for making a difference in her community has earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues.

Schmidt is a member of the Board of Directors of NKFALL.  She also serves on its Medical Advisory Committee.  

Schmidt has organized and chaired more than six annual Rural Nephrology Conferences to bring the latest tips and tools for treating chronic kidney disease to rural West Virginia.

A WVU faculty member since 1993, she was selected as the Nephrology Section Chief in 2001 and received the status of full professor in 2006.  

Schmidt is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Nephrology.  In 2007, she was chosen as a member of the Board of Directors for the Renal Physicians Association. 

Her past WVU honors include the 2005 WVU School of Medicine’s Dean’s Award for Excellence in Community Service.  

She received her D.O. from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa.  She completed an internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. 

For more information on the WVU Section of Nephrology, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/medicine/nephrology/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Cassie Waugh, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
cw: 01-31-08

Return To News Releases