ESRD NCC Wins National Patient Engagement and Advocacy Award

ESRD NCC Team at the AAKP National Patient Meeting

IPRO’s End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) National Coordinating Center (NCC) is the first organizational recipient of the American Association of Kidney Patients’ (AAKPs’) Patient Engagement and Advocacy Award, which recognizes leadership and excellence in the field of patient education and outreach.  AAKP presented the award to IPRO’s ESRD NCC for the work performed by the National Patient and Family Engagement Learning and Action Network (NPFE LAN). The award was presented on September 26, 2015 at the association’s 41st National Patient Meeting in Nashville, TN–the first such award to an organization in this category, rather than an individual.

IPRO’s ESRD NCC operates under a contract with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to support quality improvement activities of the 18 ESRD Networks nationwide, through CMS’s Three Part Aim of Better Health Care, Better Health for Communities and Smarter Spending.  ESRD Network organizations support dialysis providers, patients and families in all 50 states as well as all U.S. territories.  The ESRD NCC brings together patients from the 18 Network regions, ESRD Network leads, and CMS leadership to achieve patient-led goals. The 18 ESRD Networks are valuable partners with the ESRD NCC in recruiting and engaging beneficiaries to become active participants in their own health care.

“We’re very pleased that our outreach to the kidney patient and provider community across the U.S. has been recognized by one of the leading patient organizations in the field,” according to IPRO’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Clare Bradley, MD, MPH. “We’re gratified by the opportunity to support CMS in its goal of engaging beneficiaries to improve their care.”

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the AAKP for the work we do with patient engagement,” said Sue Caponi, MBA, RN, Chief Executive Officer of IPRO’s ESRD Program.  “This award encourages our entire team to drive forward to achieve the mission of helping patients live healthier and longer lives through increased involvement in their care and stronger connections with peers in local communities. We could not have been successful in this effort without the active participation of our beneficiaries.”

AAKP is recognized as the leader for patient-centered education. For more than 40 years, AAKP has been the patient voice – advocating for improved access to high-quality health care through regulatory and legislative reform at the federal level. The Association’s work has improved long term outcomes in both quality of health and the ability for patients and family members affected by kidney disease to lead  more productive and meaningful lives. Based in Tampa, Florida, AAKP is leading the effort to bring kidney patients together to promote community and to seek out services that help to maximize patients’ everyday lives.

A nationally recognized not-for-profit with almost 450 employees and $75 million in annual revenues, IPRO currently operates in 31 states and territories, offering a wide range of consulting services including quality improvement and assessment activities; utilization review; independent review of patient appeals; data collection, analysis and validation; anti-fraud and abuse analytics and online performance reporting for government agencies, managed care organizations and private sector clients. IPRO holds ESRD Network contracts in New York and New England and operates the WhyNotTheBest website, a comprehensive quality improvement resource that evaluates the performance of 5,686 acute care hospitals in the U.S.

An ISO certified organization, IPRO is headquartered in Lake Success, NY, with offices in Albany NY, as well as Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.

For more information about IPRO, please visit

ESRD NCC staff shown above at the AAKP National Patient Meeting are, from left:  Vicky Cash, Assistant Director, Quality Improvement; Jeanine Pilgrim, National LAN Coordinator, Patient/Family Engagement Project Manager; Lynne Poole, NCC Project Clinical Lead; and Shannon Wright, Director, ESRD National Coordinating Center.