ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

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About ASN

Black History Month

ASN celebrates Black History Month by highlighting influential Black members of the nephrology community.

February 2024

Orville Newton-Ray Bignall, II, MD, FASN


ASN is proud of its diverse representation of the kidney community. In 2024, several of ASN's Committee Chairs are proud alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Orville Newton-Ray Bignall, II, MD, FASN, is the ASN Health Care Justice Committee Chair and a graduate of both Howard University and Meharry Medical College.

Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM, FASN, MACP


This year, ASN welcomes its first Black President, Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM, FASN, MACP. She continues to advance kidney care daily by promoting health equity and advocating for more equitable care solutions.

Hear from Dr. Crews

More than 37 million Americans are living with kidney diseases. I am committed to advancing kidney health equity and health care justice for all people affected by kidney diseases, including socially marginalized populations.

Robert S. Hoover, Jr., MD, FASN


The kidney community continues to thrive with diverse representation. In 2024, several ASN Committee Chairs are proud alumni of HBCUs, including Robert S. Hoover, Jr., MD, FASN, from Howard University. Dr. Hoover serves as the ASN Workforce and Training Committee Chair.
February 2023

Cameron J. Charlow, DO


I am currently a renal fellow at the University of Colorado. I was born in Los Angeles, California. Yes, I am a Lakers fan. I am a huge history buff and love learning about all types of cultures and civilizations. I am currently working on projects to help build resources for diversity in renal disease.

What does Black History Month mean to me?

Black History Month is a celebration of all of the accomplishments made and those to come in the future. It is a month to share the similarities and differences within the Black community. Enjoying New food, Music, Dance, Art, and Language. Its a reminder that black history is vast, unique, diverse, filled with times of great sorrow, however triumphant, strong, alive and loving.

How has ASN impacted you as a person of color?

Recently, ASN assisted with me attending Kidney Week for the first time. For me it was such an important week to see and hear so many voices and prospective on Kidney Disease. It was not only inspiring but I know it shaped my future in medicine.

What would you like to see from ASN in the future regarding programming and support for people of color?

  • National Fellow Education
  • Mental Health Support for Practitioners and Patients
  • Further Inclusion of Asian/Pacific Islanders in Clinical Studies

Patrick O. Gee, Sr., PhD, JLC


I am a former PD and ICH patient and current kidney transplant recipient of 6 years as of April 2023. I am the current Chair of the KHI Patient Family Partnership Council and recipient of the ASN President's Medal 2022. My main focus as an advocate/activist is on health equity, CKD, diabetic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, clinical trials, and health literacy/education. I am an Ordain Minister at Mountain Movers Ministry in North Chesterfield, VA. I started a faith-based organization entitled iAdvocate, Inc., which focuses on health and wellness in underserved, underprivileged, disenfranchised communities of color.

I am a husband, father of five, and a grandfather of 9. One of my sons has been doing hemodialysis since May 2021.

What does Black History Month mean to me?

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of African Americans and their culture. It is also a time to remember important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is a time to understand Black stories, uplift Black voices, and spotlight those who have made significant differences in this society.

How has ASN impacted you as a person of color?

Very much so. ASN is one of the few organizations that has enlisted my humanity over my ethnicity. ASN sees my worth, gifts, and talents over my affliction. As an African American living with CKD, ASN has taken the initiative to delve into racism and its impact on kidney care and the health system. ASN has not only jumped into the fray against racial discrimination and institutional biases but has spoken out against the discrimination against the LGBTQA+ community, sexism, and other important initiatives that have promoted a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system.

What would you like to see from ASN in the future regarding programming and support for people of color?

I would like to see more patient-focused health literacy on eGFR and GFR and the new changes when I comes to kidney transplantation.

*In 2024, Dr. Gee wrote a thought piece describing the historical forces that shape health outcomes for Black Americans.

Denise Kimbrough, MD, PhD


Current PGY-4 in internal medicine and pediatrics. Starting Med/Peds Nephrology fellowship in July at The Ohio State and Nationwide Childrens.

What does Black History Month mean to me?

To me black history means walking/living the dreams of my ancestors. It is giving the opportunity for those younger than me to see themselves in non-traditional roles. It is the smile on a patient's face and sense of relief I see when I walk into a room announcing myself as their doctor. They announce feeling that they finally will have someone who understands how their social/personal struggles have impacted their health. Black history is change.

How has ASN impacted you as a person of color?

ASN provided me with the opportunity to see individuals of color impacting their community in positive lights. It was a place where disparities were addressed in a timely manner to ensure that all patients receive equitable care.

What would you like to see from ASN in the future regarding programming and support for people of color?

I would like to see ASN go into community schools (middle and high school) to teach children from impoverished backgrounds how to help improve their health long-term and help their parents stay healthy.

February 2022

Jason Cobb, MD

What does Black History Month mean to me?

Black history month is the celebration of black achievements which often go unnoticed in American history. It's my opportunity to share these stories of resilience that permeate the African American experience, and their impact on me. Blacks have excelled and continue to excel in science, medicine, business, the arts, and entertainment. Black history month is my opportunity to uplift black institutions such as historically black colleges and universities and other organizations that lead in the pursuit of black excellence daily.

How has ASN impacted you as a person of color?

I'm proud to be a nephrologist and a member of ASN. ASN has a great commitment to eliminating health disparities and the NKF-ASN Task Force work recommending removing race from eGFR is important to the black community! ASN is one of the first medical professional societies to have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) committee, and now a new healthcare justice committee. I'm a member of the ASN DEI committee and ASN has afforded me the opportunity to represent ASN on initiatives like the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment, CMSS Equity Matters program, and to explore diversity in the nephrology workforce.

What would you like to see from ASN in the future regarding programming and support for people of color?

ASN should continue to be a leader in DEI and I'm looking forward for initiatives to diversity the nephrology workforce and support underrepresented minority faculty.

*In 2024, Dr. Cobb also served as the ASN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Chair. He is a proud graduate of the HBCU, Morehouse College.