Rebecca Schmidt, DO, professor and section chief in the Department Medicine, was recently selected by the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), America’s largest independent and patient-lead kidney advocacy organization, to receive the 2018 Medal of Excellence Award.

The award is the Association’s highest honor for kidney healthcare professionals and is designed to elevate national and international figures who have been in the forefront of advancements in kidney care and patient empowerment.

The Medal of Excellence Award dinner took place on Friday, March 16 in Orlando, Florida. Attendees include more than 100 healthcare professionals and industry partners.

Dr. Schmidt leads the Mission on Outreach and Telemedicine for the Department of Medicine and serves on the medical advisory board for the AAKP. She is also the past president and first woman president of the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) and is a nationally known advocate for policies and legislation designed to fully empower kidney patients, create greater access to transplantation and to keep kidney patients employed or better able to rejoin the workforce.

Schmidt found her passion in rural outreach and has strived to decentralize care of kidney disease, through greater use of telemedicine, to meet the needs of the many West Virginians who live great distances from medical care.