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Our Mission

The mission of Pediatric Renal dietitians Of North America (PRONA) is to serve as the leading source of pediatric renal nutrition expertise, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes, and to promote community and provide networking amongst pediatric renal dietitians. 

Our Goals

  •  Improve the nutrition care of pediatric renal patients in North America, and promote international collaboration

  • Promote the pediatric renal dietitian as the expert in nutrition care of people with kidney disease or other renal conditions from infancy through young adulthood or until transitioned to adult-focused care

  • Provide a platform for empowering clinicians through education, advancement and networking in the field of pediatric renal care

  • Create and share resources that will assist in providing optimal care for children with kidney disease or other kidney conditions

  • Liaise with multidisciplinary professionals who provide support and/or care for children with kidney disease or other kidney conditions

Our Committees



Our History

In 2018, Christina Nelms contacted other pediatric renal dietitians via the pedsrenalrd listserv to see if there might be interest in starting a professional practice group. Early in her career, she had felt very “alone” when learning the job of the pediatric renal dietitian and often wished she had others to consult with. When connecting with others in the field, they expressed the same opinion. There were many resources and networking opportunities for adult-focused renal dietitians, but few for pediatric renal dietitians.


Meeting peers at professional meetings and then soon learning about the pediatric renal nutrition listserv were all great assets in making connections and learning from others, but Chris felt that something was missing. She wanted to have the connection and networking of professional conferences and learning from others in a more hands-on way, and even colleagues from other facilities that could be called friends. While the pediatric renal nutrition listserv was great for asking questions, sometimes it could be intimidating for newcomers. Also, there was minimal chance to really connect with persons posting or answering questions - to discuss further or learn more. Many pediatric renal dietitians never met any others because they didn’t have the funding to attend conferences. Chris attended a pediatric renal meeting in the United Kingdom and was very impressed by their long-standing pediatric renal nutrition practice group - Pediatric Renal Interest Nutrition Group or PRING. This group had collaborated on many resources and standards of care and were a very tight group of professionals. There was little turnover in the UK for pediatric renal dietitians – a fact that was likely so because of their professional connections, networking and friendships.


Thus, she contacted Vitaflo North America to see if they might be interested in sponsoring this group. Vitaflo provided the initial technology and set up for meetings. There was great initial interest in starting a professional group from the initial listserv query. In an early meeting, the group chose a name - Pediatric Renal dietitians Of North America or PRONA.  A mission statement was formed. The group soon decided it was in their best interest to become a legal organization and a non-profit. A handful of interested members, Marisa Juarez, Mary Ann McMaster, Rayna Levitt, and Christine Benedetti agreed to join Chris to create an informal board for making decisions. Once PRONA became a non-profit corporation, these individuals were elected as the first PRONA Board of Directors holding office. 


To promote connection, communication and networking, the group created a website. Next, committee options were brainstormed, and the most relevant ones to meet these initial needs were formed. The purpose of these committees was to connect members in small groups and access their specific talents and interests to create resources that everyone in the group could benefit from. The group agreed on six committees that members felt were most beneficial – clinician resources, patient resources, research and data sharing, guideline development, public policy and promotion and networking. The group agreed that development of these committees was the “goal” but if there was not leadership available, committees would be “dormant” until someone expressed interest in leading them. Communications later developed into another committee as the importance of these functions continued to grow, requiring additional person resources. PRONA agreed to be a “sister” organization to the UK’s PRING to further network.


Because of the size of North America and members located throughout, most meetings are virtual. However, PRONA has get togethers at in-person professional meetings to further promote networking.


Since this time, PRONA has endeavored to work together to create professional resources, including a pocket guide, clinical pathway guidelines, growth chart resources, a mentorship program, annual member awards, including an educational stipend and pediatric renal dietitian of the year, and more to aid pediatric renal dietitians. The goal is to provide optimal patient care across North America through member collaboration for the benefit of the group and support those new to the field utilizing best practice care for this patient population.


Check out our free, helpful resources available to dietitians, other healthcare providers, and the public. 

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