Nilka Ríos Burrows
CDC epidemiologist Nilka Ríos Burrows, MPH, was honored at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings with the foundation’s public service award.
The NKF said in a press release that the award is presented to “someone who has dedicated their career to public service and has helped shape public policies or government programs that improve outcomes for kidney patients.”
Ríos Burrows is an epidemiologist in the division of diabetes translation at the CDC. She joined the agency in 1992 and the division of diabetes in 1997. Since 2016, she has led the CDC’s CKD Initiative, collaborating with partners on surveillance, epidemiology and cost-effectiveness studies to develop public health strategies to promote kidney health. Ríos Burrows also manages the CKD Surveillance System and coordinates development of educational materials to increase awareness about the burden of kidney disease and prevention efforts in the United States, the NKF said in the release.
“Nilka Ríos Burrows has greatly advanced NKF’s goals of eliminating all preventable chronic kidney disease and improving the lives of patients who already have CKD,” Holly Kramer, MD, president of the NKF, said. “We are grateful for people like Nilka, who dedicate their lives to such noble work and make such a large impact on our society and the overall community of kidney patients.”
As a member of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation’s Surveillance Team, Ríos Burrows conducted public health surveillance of diabetes and its complications nationwide and worked with the Indian Health Service’s Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention on diabetes and kidney disease surveillance among Native Americans — a population that experienced a 50% drop in the rate of new cases of diabetes-related ESRD from 1996 to 2013. She also collaborated with NKF on CKD Health Evaluation Risk Information Sharing, a community-based screening demonstration project that successfully resulted in identifying people with CKD and poor control of risk factors. Rios Burrows received awards for bringing national attention to diabetes and obesity in youth.
“This award is a tremendous honor to me and my amazingly talented and committed team and partners,” Ríos Burrows said in the release. “I look forward to continuing our collective efforts to reduce the impact of kidney disease on the nation and to improve the quality of life for those affected by it.”
Ríos Burrows has authored or co-authored more than 80 publications, including several that explore racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes and kidney failure.