top of page

healthcare professionals

join our work

building a better future

Healthcare professionals play an important role in the work of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. We work closely with physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers, technicians, and scientific investigators to develop substantive community health programs, and drive the future of research and treatment.


The NKFI also makes meaningful investments in Illinois' medical communities. We award grants, fund scientific research, host professional development events, and connect physicians and medical practitioners to unique resources and educational opportunities. By supporting healthcare professionals, we ensure the kidney disease patients and families of Illinois receive better, more well-rounded care.


We invite medical professionals working in renal care to become part of our work, and help us improve the lives of Illinois residents affected by kidney disease.

professional advisory board

partners in progress

The Professional Advisory Board (PAB) helps the NKFI build our slate of impactful community health initiatives, and assists foundation leadership in the development of thought-provoking professional education programs. A clear-eyed team of focused, passionate practitioners, the PAB's membership is comprised of Illinois' leading nephrologists, physicians, academics, and allied health professionals.


In addition to contributing to the work of the NKFI, Professional Advisory Board members are invited to serve on advisory committees, are afforded complimentary admission to numerous professional development events, and are granted exclusive access to unique, NKFI managed career resources.

become a member

Ready to help patients and communities, and join the NKFI in our fight?

find a member

Explore our searchable list of Professional Advisory Board members to find a physician or allied healthcare professional.

executive committee

  • Suneel Udani, MD | Chair, Nephrology Associates of Northern Indiana and Illinois

  • Shubhada Ahya, MD | Immediate Past Chair, Northwestern University Medicine

  • Melanie Betz, MS, RD, CSR, CSG, FAND | Chair, Illinois Council on Renal Nutrition, The Kidney Dietitian

  • Kristen Uebel |Chair of the ICNNT

  • Rupal Mehta MD | Chair, NKFI Research Committee

  • Sadaf Elahi, MD | Nephrology Associates of Northern Indiana and Illinois

  • Jackie Hankins MS, RD, CSR, LDN Rush/ Circle Medical Management 

  • Benjamin Ko, MD University of Chicago

  • Stephen Korbet, MD Rush University Medical Center

  • Veeda Landeras, MD Associates in Nephrology

  • Claudia Lora, MD University of Illinois Health

  • Anitha Philip, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CNN-NP, FNKF | Edward Hines VA

  • Kavitha Vellanki, MD Loyola University Medical Center

  • Aarthi Vijaykumar, MD Nephrology Associates of Northern Indiana and Illinois

  • Anna Zisman, MD | University of Chicago

For More Information


Please contact the NKFI's Vice President of Programs, Rachel DePauw

email:  |  phone: (312) 321 - 1500  x 258

Professional Advisory Board

professional councils

for nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers

The NKFI Professional Councils are the voice of what is trending in both professional education and patient care. They serve as an extension of the NKFI, and are committed to developing strategic patient initiatives, impactful community programs, and innovative educational events.


Council members assist NKFI leadership in the planning and promotion of numerous professional events, and are offered complimentary admission to select seminars and conferences.


Illinois Council of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians (ICNNT)

The ICNNT works with NKFI leadership to develop health policies that impact the delivery of patient care and professional practice. The ICNNT supports the mission of the NKFI to improve the health and well being of individuals affected with chronic kidney disease through research, patient services, national organ donor programs, and public education. The ICNNT advocates for, and contributes to, the professional development of members through education, professional growth, and dissemination of information related to professional practice and quality of care.


  • Chair: Kristen Martin Uebel, MBA, MM, HEA, BSN, RN, CNN

  • Immediate Past Chair: Melissa Vester, RN, BSN, CNN

Executive Com

Illinois Council on Renal Nutrition (ICRN)

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois' Council on Renal Nutrition (ICRN) coordinates with other professional health organizations to develop and promote effective, valuable resources for renal dietitians. The ICRN works to protect the interests of practitioners, promotes the nutritional well-being of patients, and engages in advocacy efforts focused on affecting change in kidney health care legislation and public policy.


  • Current President: Melanie Betz, MS, RD, CSR, CSG, FAND

  • President-Elect: Ciara Murabito MS, RDN, LDN

  • Immediate Past President: Renee Fung, RD, CSR, LDN

  • Secretary/Treasurer: Meredith Wilk, MPH, RD, CSR, LDN

volunteer 01.png

Illinois Council of Nephrology Social Workers (ICNSW)
The ICNSW is committed to helping patients and their families cope with the psychosocial stresses and lifestyle readjustments necessitated by a diagnosis of kidney disease. Additionally, members of the ICNSW work in support of federal regulations governing ESRD reimbursement in regard to standards for social work practice and in the definition of a qualified social worker


  • Chair: Open

  • Immediate Past Chair: Shauna Phillips, LCSW


professional resources

journals, references, education and more

professional education center

This resource center is designed for professionals committed to continuing their education and improving the lives of patients and families affected by kidney disease.

publications & journals

Delve into the four professional journals published by our national office, and stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in treatment and research.

clinician tools & applications

This collection of guides, bulletins, patient handouts, and mobile applications offers you access to a world of handy toolkits that are useful for you and your patients. 


research opportunities

fueling the future of illinois research

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois invests in the next generation of kidney disease treatment by funding promising, up-and-coming researchers, and awarding select grants.


In keeping with our mission, we prioritize projects that will increase the understanding of kidney, urologic and transplantation-related diseases, and will improve the clinical management and treatment of these diseases, or lead to a cure.


Grant submissions are carefully evaluated by the NKFI Research Review Committee, and are awarded on an annual basis.


Interested in becoming an NKFI grantee? Click below for more information.

kidney career center

connecting talent with opportunity

If you are a healthcare professional looking for a new position in renal medicine, the NKFI recommends you explore the Kidney Career Center, a national jobs database managed by our New York office.


This detailed catalogue is meticulously maintained and totally free to join. It makes connecting with a potential employer simple and straightforward, as you can easily integrate your Kidney Career Center profile with existing digital professional profiles you might maintain on facebook and linkedin.


If you're an employer looking to find new team members, the career center offers a number of job posting option, and help is always available at (860) 437 - 5700.

Medical Record Analysis

Ready to see what's out there?

Your next step is only a click away.

Career Center
bottom of page