The mission of Pediatric Renal Dietitians of North America (PRONA) is to stand as the foremost authority on pediatric renal nutrition expertise. Our overarching objective is to enhance patient outcomes while fostering a sense of community and facilitating networking opportunities among pediatric renal dietitians.
Enhance the nutritional care for pediatric renal patients across North America while fostering international collaboration.
Elevate the role of the pediatric renal dietitian as the foremost expert in nutrition care for individuals with kidney disease or other renal conditions, spanning from infancy through young adulthood or until transitioned to adult-focused care.
Establish a platform dedicated to empowering clinicians through comprehensive education, professional advancement, and strategic networking within the field of pediatric renal care.
Generate and disseminate resources aimed at facilitating optimal care for children with kidney disease or related conditions.
Facilitate collaboration with multidisciplinary professionals involved in supporting and providing care for children with kidney disease or other renal conditions.
Through these efforts, we hope to contribute to the collective goal of improving the well-being and outcomes of pediatric renal patients.
The Clinician Resource Committee plays a pivotal role in strategizing and orchestrating educational initiatives for PRONA, concurrently undertaking the development of materials and resources aimed at enhancing processes and elevating clinical practices. With a primary emphasis on bolstering clinician access to resources and advancing knowledge and skills, the committee actively engages in the creation of written and online documents, the establishment facilitation of our mentoring program, coordination of continuing education events, and the provision of other valuable tools that contribute to professional development within our community.
The Guideline Development Committee is entrusted with the creation of essential resources for practitioners, specifically in the form of clinical practice guidelines. These guidelines are meticulously crafted to address the nuanced and specialized care required for pediatric patients dealing with kidney disease. The committee is committed to delivering authoritative and comprehensive tools that contribute to the highest standards of care within the field.
The Patient Resource Committee is dedicated to fostering collaboration in the conception and organization of shared patient resources, educational materials, and events tailored for patients and their families. This encompassing effort involves the creation of diverse content, such as digital or written resources, videos, and links, which are made readily accessible to supporting members through our website. In addition, the committee actively engages in discussions and initiatives aimed at benefiting pediatric renal patients and their families in North America, with a potential extension to global outreach. This comprehensive approach reflects our commitment to enhancing the support and resources available to the pediatric renal community.
Research & Data Sharing
The Research and Data Sharing Committee is committed to promoting and supporting research endeavors undertaken by pediatric renal dietitians, with a strategic aim to elevate the contributions of dietitians within the field of pediatric renal nutrition. This involves the establishment of networks facilitating data sharing among dietitians to fortify and broaden study outcomes. Additionally, the committee fosters collaboration with other researchers, including physicians, and cultivates connections with diverse research opportunities such as publications, journals, and conferences.
This committee is currently dormant. Interested individuals with the requisite expertise are encouraged to reach out if inclined to lead and revitalize this important effort. Your engagement will play a pivotal role in advancing the objectives of the committee.
The Public Policy Committee is dedicated to the establishment and advocacy of public policy initiatives that directly impact or enhance the well-being of pediatric renal patients, as well as contribute to the advancement of our field in pediatric renal nutrition. The spectrum of policy matters addressed by the committee spans areas such as food insecurity, food additives, food labeling, food quality, healthcare and medication access, licensure, reimbursement, and other pertinent topics.
In pursuit of its objectives, this committee actively collaborates with larger groups or networks, leveraging collective efforts for heightened impact and effectiveness in advocating for positive policy changes within the realm of pediatric renal care.
Promotion & Networking
The Promotion and Networking Committee is dedicated to spearheading initiatives that strategically promote PRONA and advocate for the recognition and advancement of pediatric renal dietitians. This encompasses guiding the direction of the PRONA website and other online/technical resources, promoting member publications and speaking engagements, fostering connections with other professionals or professional groups, establishing links with industry and research and development, documenting the group's history, and engaging in comprehensive promotion efforts for both PRONA and the broader field of pediatric renal dietitians, inclusive of North American and global activities.
The Communications Committee is dedicated to cultivating the visibility of our organization among the public and supporting members through diverse channels. This involves overseeing the operational aspects of the website and supporting member listserv, spearheading the development and distribution of our quarterly newsletter, and strategically managing social networking exposure. These multifaceted efforts aim to effectively serve the interests of both PRONA supporting members and the Board, ensuring comprehensive and impactful communication strategies.
In 2018, Christina Nelms initiated contact with fellow pediatric renal dietitians through the pedsrenalrd listserv to explore the possibility of establishing a professional practice group. Drawing from her early career experiences, Christina recognized the potential for enhanced professional collaboration, given the limited resources and networking opportunities available to pediatric renal dietitians compared to their adult-focused counterparts.
While existing platforms like the pediatric renal nutrition listserv provided valuable connections and learning opportunities, Christina identified a need for more hands-on networking, fostering professional friendships, and facilitating in-depth discussions. Recognizing the success of the UK's Pediatric Renal Interest Nutrition Group (PRING), she approached Vitaflo North America for sponsorship, and they generously provided the initial technology and meeting setup.
PRONA swiftly gained momentum, with a dedicated group of initial members forming an informal board, including Marisa Juarez, Mary Ann McMaster, Rayna Levitt, and Christine Benedetti. The decision to become a legal nonprofit organization followed, and these individuals were elected as the inaugural PRONA Board of Directors.
To enhance connectivity, communication, and networking, the group established a website and formed committees aligned with member talents and interests. These committees—clinician resources, patient resources, research and data sharing, guideline development, public policy, and promotion and networking—were designed to connect members in smaller groups and create resources beneficial to the entire group. The understanding was that committees would be "dormant" if leadership was unavailable, pending expressions of interest.
PRONA also established a sister organization relationship with the UK's PRING, further expanding networking opportunities. Although virtual meetings predominated due to the geographic spread of members across North America, in-person gatherings at professional meetings were organized to deepen networking connections.
Since its inception, PRONA has collaborated to develop various professional resources, including a pocket guide, clinical pathway guidelines, growth chart resources, a mentorship program, and annual member awards, such as an educational stipend and pediatric renal dietitian of the year. These collective efforts aim to advance pediatric renal dietitians' knowledge and provide optimal patient care across North America, supporting both seasoned professionals and newcomers in the field.