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Mary Baliker (She/Her/Hers)

State: Wisconsin

Chronic Conditions: Kidney Disease, Chronic Pain

I am a healthcare consultant with a little over 30 years working with many healthcare organizations. This includes the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, and Long Beach Memorial Hospital. I have worked as an Assistant Director of the Carbone Cancer Center, Organ Procurement Coordinator, Clinical Research Transplant Coordinator, and Outreach Transplant and Education Director. I was diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of 9. During my lifetime I have undergone in-center hemodialysis for a period of time. At 17 I had a kidney transplant from a living donor, my brother, Doug. Since then, I have had 3 more kidney transplants, the last of which was in 1999. As a result of this life-long experience, I cherish my life and possess a strong interest in improving healthcare. I have also written my story “Maria Never Gives Up” to help children and their families in their personal struggle with the emotional and physical rollercoaster that is brought on by a chronic illness. The books are in many transplant and dialysis centers across the country. And available on Amazon. I have been a patient advocate and am actively involved nationally. I bring to my role a unique combination of professional healthcare leadership and patient experience.

I am honored to serve as a Chronic Disease Coalition Ambassador. I am also a member of the National Kidney Foundation’s, Peer Mentoring Program, Kidney Advocacy Committee & Region #6 Captain, Public Policy Committee and various workgroups. American Association of Nephrology: Kidney Health Initiative's (KHI) Patient and Family Partnership Council, The National Forum of ESRD Networks; Kidney Patient Advisory Council, NephCure Kidney International, Team Leader of Midwest Region, American Association of Kidney Patients Field Ambassador, Midwest Kidney Network (ESRD Network #11) Board of Directors, and Consumer Committee, the National Patient/Family Engagement Learning & Action Network Health Services, Legacy Advisory Group. United Network for Organ Sharing, Pediatric Kidney Advisor, UW (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Health Patient and Family Advisory Committee, and Friends of UW Heath, Board of Directors. Being an advocate gives me an opportunity to help improve healthcare in hopes that others might not have some of the challenges. My motto is LIVE every moment LAUGH everyday LOVE beyond words. Never give up!