HDU Advisory Board

HDU’s Advisory Board — Who They Are


Mollie Perry, RDA Co-Founder and President of VidaFuel, LLC. Mollie Perry is Co-founder and President of VidaFuel, LLC, the first food company solely dedicated to creating foods safe for those with ChronicKidney Disease and on Dialysis. In addition to her Registered Dietitian designation, Ms. Perry holds a Master of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and she is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. Ms. Perry’s spectrum of practice has spanned across all disease types from diabetes to kidney disease.


The Honorable Karen Thurman, Advocacy and Policy. Hon. Karen Thurman has a personal interest in kidney disease and treatment, including dialysis. Two in her family suffer from Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). As a Member of Congress from Florida from 1993-2003, Karen Thurman worked for many kidney issues, especially in the area of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients. She was also a member of the board of directors of NKF for 6 years. A partner in TG&C Group, LLC, Karen Thurman continues her work on behalf of kidney disease patients by representing the PKD Foundation.


Eric Weinhandl, Research and Education. Eric is an epidemiologist, finishing his PhD in the field earlier in 2015, after having finished a master’s degree in biostatistics in 2004. His first project was a study of death rates in peritoneal dialysericis and matched in-center hemodialysis patients. Since then, he has worked on many interesting projects and written papers for medical journals, including the advent of Medicare Part D, which has brought better insight into medication useamong dialysis patients than ever before. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota.




Elleellenn Griffith Cohen, Policy. Ellen Griffith Cohen retired in August 2012, after 11 years as a press officer in the national office of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Her experience with CMS has been invaluable to the HDU Policy committee, helping to write and edit comments to CMS and GAO. She is currently predialysis and pre-transplant. She is planning to undergo a living donor transplant in January.



Celeste Castillo Lee, Education Celeste Castillo Lee is a 34 year patient of ESRD currently on in-center hemodialysis. She is a faculty for the Institute for Patient and FamilyCentered Care and a patient advisor in non-profit health organizations, governmental agencies, research projects, peer mentor and advocate nationally, and internationally. Including a Board Member, and Chair of the Patient & Family Partnership Council for the Kidney Health Initiative, a public/private partnership with the FDA and the American Society of Nephrology, a member of the Phase I National Patient Advisory Council for PCORnet, and a member of the steering committee for the Vasculitis PatientPowered Research Network (V-PPRN).

Ginger McKinnon, Renal Nurse  Ginger has been in dialysis for almost 30 years,  starting itginger as an administrative assistant,  then technician,  and now a nurse.  She always knew this was her calling.  In addition to her demands at work, she is a wife to husband Don, a mom to 5 children,  (1 girl,  5 boys 3 + my son in law in the navy) and a Grammy (one boy, one girl ).  I love the She loves the outdoors,  especially the ocean and the beach, cooking,  crafty things and just spending time with my family.  I love life and am excited about the future of renal care.