Northwest Kidney Centers honors CEO Emeritus Joyce F. Jackson on 60th anniversary of the start of long-term dialysis survival

March 9, 2020 — Northwest Kidney Centers has conferred its highest honor, the Clyde Shields Distinguished Service Award, on Joyce F. Jackson, its president and CEO for 21 years.

Northwest Kidney Centers gives the annual award to people who make significant contributions to the welfare of kidney patients. Today marks 60 years since the first dialysis treatment for its namesake.

Joyce F. Jackson

“Joyce Jackson earned a reputation as a compassionate, ethical, energetic leader,” said Rich Bloch, chair of Northwest Kidney Centers board of trustees. “She pushed the organization to excellence in every aspect of its mission: patient care, education and research.”

Jackson retired in 2019 after a career as a visionary national and local leader in kidney care. When she took the helm in 1998, Northwest Kidney Centers had eight clinics and patient services revenue of $32 million annually. When she retired, the 20th clinic was set to open in 2020 and annual revenue was $131 million.

Northwest Kidney Centers consistently scores at the top of the nation in measures of clinical quality of dialysis services. Jackson continually envisioned a wider mission for the organization and the field of kidney care. She led the effort to establish the Kidney Research Institute, a collaboration between Northwest Kidney Centers and UW Medicine, and spurred Northwest Kidney Centers to provide a grant that launched the Center for Dialysis Innovation at the University of Washington.

She spearheaded collaboration and policy advocacy across the country, fostering the formation of the Nonprofit Kidney Care Alliance and serving on the boards of the Alliance for Home Dialysis and the National Renal Administrators Association. She is a board member for American Diabetes Association Washington and is chair of the governing board at LifeCenter Northwest, a regional organ procurement organization supporting transplantation.

About Clyde Shields. The award is named for Clyde Shields, whose kidney failure soon would have taken his life in 1960. Instead, he agreed to be the first patient to try dialysis using a new  device developed at the University of Washington, the Scribner shunt. Dr. Belding Scribner’s invention made long-term kidney replacement therapy possible for the first time, so that chronic kidney failure need no longer be fatal. Mr. Shields bravely agreed to have the device connected to his bloodstream, and it extended his life for 11 years.

The award announcement today, March 9, 2020, comes on the 60th anniversary of Clyde Shields’ first dialysis treatment.

About the award. Northwest Kidney Centers bestows the Clyde Shields Distinguished Service Award on a living individual who has contributed significantly to the welfare of kidney patients through advocacy, clinical care or research. Factors considered are length of service, number of people impacted, awards or citations, humility and perseverance. Past honorees include patients, volunteers, staff members, scientists and supporters.