The award is named after Mark Zawiski, a dialysis facility administrator renowned for his tireless work on behalf of dialysis patients and the associations that support independent dialysis providers. Mark worked his way through college and graduate school as a dialysis technician, and went on to earn his MBA and become administrator for two facilities in the Miami area. He served as President of the Florida Renal Administrators Association (FRAA) and as a Director and then Treasurer for the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA). He was a frequent presenter at FRAA and NRAA educational events, graciously sharing his experience and skills to help facilities improve their operations while remaining committed to patient care.
Mark tragically and suddenly passed away at an early age, leaving behind a wife and two young children, and a legacy of service and dedication to the ESRD and dialysis community. The FRAA Board of Directors has presented the award as a tribute to Mark to recognize individuals who routinely go “above and beyond” as Mark did.
2015 Recipient: Andrea Pizzuti
Andrea Pizzuti comes to us with nearly fifteen years of experience in the care of dialysis patients. All of that time has been with DaVita, Inc, but it has certainly not been in a static role. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work, she began in a hemodialysis unit that had an in-house Peritoneal Dialysis program – counseling patients and coworkers alike. After a few years, she was given the opportunity to become the administrator of the PD program, which by then had moved into it’s own facility and grown to be one of the largest in the U.S. After bringing a Home Hemodialysis program online, and establishing the facility as a regional equipment hub for all home modalities, she was asked to take her extensive knowledge out into two different divisions. Today she is the Home Modalities Regional Operations Director for 2 divisions, supporting and coaching 40 different programs in four states, representing over 750 PD and HHD patients. She has presented at the last four Physician Leadership Meetings, and is a member of the Home Modalities National Team.
Andrea’s greatest accomplishment so far, though, has been doing all these things while raising two lovely children, ages 12 and 10. Jackson is an accomplished 5k runner who is getting straight A’s in his first year of middle school, and Ava is a beautiful, gifted actress, model, and singer.
The Maureen Michael Award
Maureen Michael graduated from a 3 year diploma nursing program in Chicago in the 1960s. Her early nursing career included working in pediatrics and the emergency room. In the early 1070s, Maureen began working in dialysis at an Orlando hospital, and a long time career began. Over the years, Maureen continued her education, graduating with honors with a BSN Degree and MBA. Maureen was a champion for the renal community in the early days of outpatient clinic development. She could see the young unshaped community of dialysis providers and clinical staff, and she added form, structure, and guidance. She was instrumental in starting the Florida Renal Administrator’s Association over 42 years ago, along with Mark Zawiski, another renal community champion. She nurtured and served the FRAA over 35 years, retiring in 2009. Maureen also became very involved with the National Renal Administrator’s Association, holding several offices on the Board of Directors for NRAA multiple times. Maureen was a nurse first and a business woman second. She could identify a talented individual in a heartbeat and capture their attention to join forces for making the business of dialysis, or the life of all dialysis patients, significantly better. Maureen’s leadership was instrumental in driving legislative changes on the state and national level across the years. Her legacy lives on in many of us today that are still involved in the work of FRAA or NRAA, with the ultimate goal always being best care for the dialysis patients. Many of us will always call her, “my hero.”
2015 Recipient: Peggy Crowley
Peggy Crowley has over 25 years of experience bringing new processes, services, medical devices, and concepts to renal providers and the patients they care for.
She began her career with a large OB/GYN Group Practice in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as their Operations-Center Manager and X-Ray/Bone Technologist, later adding in responsibilities as field rep for their Osteoporosis Center, which was one of the first in Wisconsin. She learned early on her love for dealing with the many challenges of working for a startup company, and the value that having to wear many hats can bring.
Volunteering to troubleshoot in the underperforming FL region, lead to a permanent relocation to Tampa, FL, and spending 15 years with National Medical Care (later Fresenius Medical Care) in their Diagnostic Division. Starting as a technician she quickly took on the role of the center manager, field rep, local SME, and member of the regional & national clinical support team, later becoming the National Product Support Manager for the renal related cardiac/vascular and bone diagnostics programs.
Always looking for new ways to make things better for dialysis staff or their patients, Peggy found it exciting and inspiring to align with industry innovators and was often involved in growing the new startup companies that came out of their ideas. Some of those business startups included the initial launch of Hectorol Vitamin D, the relaunch of Carnitor for dialysis-related carnitine deficiency, initial field& clinical support marketing of the HeRO vascular access, first hired employee for ScheduleWise Work-Flow Management Program, and first sales rep for the Vasc-Alert Vascular Access Surveillance Service. Prior to transferring the Lifeline Vascular Division of DaVita, she had earned the 2012 DaVita Lab’s Shining Star Award for her efforts during the rebranding of the physician practices and independent dialysis providers lab services relaunch.
Currently, Peggy, is utilizing all that she has learned from her many mentors, and experiences during her 25+ years of medical sales, marketing, business development and event planning with other organizations, associations, and businesses in an effort to grow and expand their market share, territory, and bring greater awareness within their area of specialty. A self-motivated leader, team player, and consummate giver, she continues to focus on making a difference for companies and patients, while continuing her volunteerism with the NKF of FL and the FL Renal Administrators Association.