National Kidney Foundation of Michigan President Linda Smith-Wheelock honored 

CEO Portraits 2017

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is pleased to announce that its president and CEO, Linda Smith-Wheelock, was chosen as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ Notable Women in Nonprofits for 2018. Smith-Wheelock has been on the NKFM’s leadership team for the past 25 years, serving as its president since July 2017.

“We are all proud of Linda’s impressive achievements and it’s great to have them recognized publicly,” states Dan Carney, president and CEO emeritus of the NKFM.

As the president and CEO, Linda leads the entire organization but she directly oversees four diverse teams, including Prevention Programs, Early Childhood Programs, Patient Services, and Business Development. She has a number of staff who directly report to her and many more who seek her guidance on a regular basis.

Smith-Wheelock has a master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan and an MBA fromMadonna University. She has been instrumental in refocusing the NKFM’s mission to highlight the prevention and management of kidney disease in addition to patient services. Seeing prevention as a growth area for the NKFM, Smith-Wheelock is guiding the planning and implementing of program reimbursement to ensure the nonprofit’s ongoing sustainability.

Smith-Wheelock is also involved at the national and state levels in health and disease prevention, leading directly to benefits in the local community. The NKFM is recognized nationally by the CDC as a leader in providing its Diabetes Prevention Program, resulting in lifestyle change programs being delivered to vulnerable populations. She also sits on Michigan’s “Adverse Childhood Experiences” steering committee.

Her colleagues are proud to work with her, citing her “tenacious empathy” as one of her biggest strengths. “Whether its empathy for the patients who NKFM serves, those in Michigan who are at risk of developing kidney disease, or those she leads, her ability to see the world through others’ eyes and understand what kind of guidance they need, signals a real passion for serving others. That’s what has kept pushing her onward and upward in the nonprofit world,” states Marcie Gerlach, NKFM’s Senior Communications Manager, who has worked with Smith-Wheelock for 18 years.

Smith-Wheelock lives in Canton Township with her husband, Dr. Mike Smith-Wheelock, an ophthalmologist.  They have two adult sons.

About NKFM
The mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it. The NKFM is widely known for providing more programs and services to more people than any other region or state. The organization is recognized for its success in sound fiscal management by receiving a 4-star rating, for the last 11 years in a row, from Charity Navigator—the nation’s leading charity evaluator.


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