A Message From The FRAA President Amy Kozsuch – October 2017
Dear Florida Kidney Community Members and Friends,
The year in review:
2017 has been a year of change and evolution for our organization. We celebrated Kidney Day in February and have a second opportunity on October 24-25th to bring our message and mission back to AHCA and Florida’s lawmakers. In addition to Kidney Day, the volunteer board of FRAA attended and provided support for several kidney community partners; FSN, AAKP, NKFF and Network 7 invited FRAA to participate in their meetings and events.
Our 44th annual educational conference, held every July, was a great success and we expanded our program and CEU offerings to incorporate required units for our nursing and social work members. So if you are looking for an alternative to replace the Annual Network 7 Conference CEUs we hope you will visit our website and register for the 2018 45th Annual FRAA Educational Conference!
At this year’s meeting we celebrated excellence in the care of patients through our annual Maureen Michael and Mark Zawiski scholarship awards. These awards are given out each year to recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership and patient advocacy at the highest level. These are peer driven nominations and serve to recognize those who follow in Maureen and Mark’s footsteps to strive for the highest quality patient care and to educate the community and lawmakers about our kidney community.
The 2017 Maureen Michael award went to Rachel Curry, Senior Financial Service Advisor for US Renal Care.
The 2017 Mark Zawiski award went to Allison Vinson, Regional Lead Social Worker for Fresenius Kidney Care.
Each award winner received a cash prize of $500.00 and a full registration for the 2018 FRAA 45th Educational Conference. Please help us congratulate these truly caring kidney community leaders!
Making Room for the Future:
This year we also celebrated the long careers of three of our members: Bob Winston (DaVita), Brenda Tilley (Central Florida Kidney Centers) and Robert “Bobby the Lobby” Reynolds.
Bob Winston and Brenda Tilley have served the membership of FRAA and the kidney community for over 40 years. Both have worked in the kidney industry as leaders, patient advocates and drivers of change in the delivery of care and legislative education.
Brenda Tilley has served as the secretary of our FRAA board for several years and has been instrumental in encouraging others to get involved with our organization. She always cites Maureen Michael as her mentor and reason for her tireless volunteerism for FRAA. Brenda has been a nephrology nurse for most of her nursing profession and she has worked for Central Florida Kidney Center for the majority of her career. Like Maureen, Brenda has helped to develop and mentor countless Nurses, Social Workers, Dieticians, PCTs and even a few Doctors! She is well respected and loved by those whose lives she has touched, including my and every FRAA board member’s life, past and present.
Bob Winston has served the board in several roles most recently as President, Past President, and again in 2017 as Vice President. Bob has been a champion of serving the patients and the independent dialysis provider. He has supported the growth of FRAA and pushed to build and secure the future of FRAA/FRC through the development of a succession plan for our organization. As a patient advocate, Bob has found ways to increase the funding for NKFF’s Direct Patient Aid and in 2014 he created the annual FRAA Rich Salick Memorial Direct Patient Aid Fundraiser. This fundraiser is held at our meeting every July and all the funds collected are matched by FRAA. Thanks to the leadership of Bob Winston, this year we were able to add $12,000.00 to the NKFF Direct Patient Aid budget! At this year’s FRAA Night of Honor, Bob was the recipient of the first-ever awarded NKFF Richard Salick Humanitarian Award for his everlasting efforts to bring positive change to others.
Robert “Bobby the Lobby” Reynolds has served as FRC’s lead lobbyist for nearly twenty years. During this time Bobby has been in his words “on the job” to identify and pursue all legislative issues that affect our kidney community. Bobby has led many legislative victories for our Florida Kidney Community and along the way he has developed some long lasting programs that will continue to drive our mission and purpose. Bobby was instrumental in creating our Florida Kidney Day and has handled the logistics of our capitol legislative visits from the beginning. Several years ago, Bobby instituted our AHCA ESRD Advisory Task Force and helped to nurture FRAA/FRC’s relationship with AHCA for the benefit of Florida Kidney patients. And today Bobby continues to influence the growth and reach of FRAA/FRC through the idea, creation and development of this newsletter.
With the departure of Bobby the Lobby, FRAA/FRC has accepted Ron Watson of Watson Strategies to fulfill the role of our organization’s Lobbyist. Ron has been working along side our team for a few years and has met the responsibilities of his new position with curiosity & great enthusiasm. Ron has made visits to dialysis centers to learn first hand what it means to be a patient, a caregiver and a staff member in the kidney community. We look forward to working with Ron to provide education and insight on all things kidney for our Florida legislators and health care policy makers.
Welcome New Board Members
Moving in to my final year as President I feel very confident that we have strong new board members coming in to continue to drive change and leadership in our organization.
Remaining on the board for this year:
Candy Magiera, Administrator US Renal – Treasurer
Sue Rottura, COO Pure Life Renal – Board Member
Joe Moscato CEO Moscato Services – Board Member
Terri Beck, Regional SW Fresenius Kidney Care – Board Member
Bob Loeper VP Fresenius Kidney Care – Legislative Chair
Jennifer Haggkvist, Clinical Specialist US Renal – Clinical Specialist/Educator
Our new board members come from different backgrounds and bring new perspectives to our organization.
Jon Eustace, Sr Business Development Dialyze Direct Florida – Vice President
Roy Meek, Facicity Adinistrator, Central Florida Kidney Centers – Secretary
Mark Brown, CEO Priority Rx – Board Member
Savanna Pitard, CEO NKFF– Board Member
Please feel free to contact any one of the board members for support and resources.
A Final Note:
FRAA has combined with the Florida Renal Coalition (FRC) to continue to drive awareness, education and positive change for the kidney community of Florida. These two organizations have worked hand in hand over the years and the partnership path was an obvious one. As a joined organization, we remain neutral in our affiliation within the kidney care industry and encourage all members and partners to become involved as a board member or volunteer
FRAA is committed to the mission to continuously improve the overall delivery and access to care for kidney patients through collective educational efforts of its members and to provide education to the elected officials regarding issues that affect the Florida kidney patients and industry.
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