Epidemiology & Public Health
Division Head, General Internal Medicine
UMMC, Room NN3E03
Education and Training
He went to medical school at Case Western Reserve University and obtained his Internal Medicine and Nephrology training at University of Washington in Seattle. Between his residency and fellowship training he worked as a General Internist at Tufts University and University of Southern California During his fellowship he obtained a Master's of Science in Epidemiology at University of Washington School of Public Health.
1987-88 Internship in Medicine, Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
1988‑90 Resident in Medicine, Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
1990-92 Assistant Professor, Medicine, Tufts University
1992-93 Assistant Professor, Medicine, University of Southern California
1993-94 Clinical Nephrology Fellow, Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
1994-96 Research Nephrology Fellow, Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
1996-02 Assistant Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology (secondary) University of Maryland, Baltimore
2002-2011 Associate Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology (secondary) University of Maryland, Baltimore
2011- Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology (secondary) University of Maryland, Baltimore
2014- Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Chronic kidney disease, Clinical Epidemiology, Patient Safety
Seliger SL, Zhan M, Hsu VD, Walker L, Fink JC. Chronic Kidney Disease Adversely Influences Patient Safety. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Dec;19(12):2414-9.
Fink JC, Brown J, Hsu VD, Seliger SL, Walker L, Zhan M. CKD as an under-recognized threat to patient safety. Am J Kidney Disease; 2009 53(4): 681-8
Fink JC, Joy MS, St Peter WL, Wahba IM, Finding a common language for patient safety in chronic kidney disease Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2012, 7:689-695.
Hartley IR, Ginsberg JS, Diamantidis CJ, Zhan M, Walker L, Rattinger RB, Fink JC. Consideration of ICD-9 code-derived disease-specific safety indicators in CKD. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2013; 8:2123-31.
Chapin E, Zhan M, Hsu VD, Seliger SL, Walker LD, Fink JC. Adverse safety events in chronic kidney disease: the frequency of “multiple hits”. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol; 2010 5: 87-94.
Ginsberg JS, Zhan M, Diamantidis CJ, Woods C, Chen J, Fink JC. Patient-reported and actionable safety events in chronic kidney disease. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2014, 25:1564-73
Dr Fink’s ongoing clinical studies include the NIDDK-funded Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study (U01 DK61022) and the Safe Kidney Care program. Ongoing study initiatives include eSKC (R21 DK096204), which evaluates the effectiveness of an interactive voice response system (IVRS) to monitor kidney disease patients’ safety related symptoms. The VA-based Coordinated Care Health Tele-monitoring program (R34 DK102177) evaluates means of reducing adverse safety events in veterans with CKD. Most recently he was funded to co-direct the VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry to evaluate initiatives designed to improve the safety of kidney disease patients. He will also direct the NIH-funded and related initiative to examine if a "Sick-day protocol" will improve outcomes in chronic kidney disease (R18 DK110955)
Dr. Fink also has a strong interest and a substantial track record in the clinical epidemiology and study of health services utilization in kidney disease. He has conducted several epidemiological analyses of existing databases including the USRDS and national VA data. He recently completed analyses of the national VA data set examining trends in chronic kidney disease practice patterns and determining the link between chronic kidney disease and patient safety indicators (R21 DK075675). He was the principal investigator on the CRIC-Safety ancillary study (R01 DK090008), which retrospectively examines the frequency of safety events in the CRIC cohort.
Dr. Fink founded and coordinates the Early Renal Insufficiency (ERI) program (at the Baltimore VA and University of Maryland Medical System) and the VA Renal Inter-disciplinary Safety Clinic which These are staffed by himself, 3 additional doctors, pharmacist and a nurse practitioner. The ERI and RISC are part of an enriched disease management program which has offered patients several opportunities for participation in clinical research.
1999 American Society of Nephrology, Carl W. Gottschalk Research Award
2005 Fellow, American Society of Nephrology
2011 Fellow, National Kidney Foundation
2016 Fellow, American College of Physicians
10/01/01 – 04/30/18 Site Investigator, 20% effort (PI: Appel)
NIDDK UO1, DK61022
Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study
CRIC is a multi-center cohort study examining the natural history of persons with chronic kidney disease (n = 3939). Dr Fink is the site PI overseeing study activities on 256 local enrollees and serving as a member of the study steering committee.
9/1/13 – 8/30/17 Principal Investigator, 20% effort (Fink)
(NCE) NIDDK 1R21 DK096204
Patient safety monitoring in kidney disease with an eDiary
This grant proposes to evaluate an interactive voice response system to record patient-experienced safety events among pre-dialysis CKD and ESRD patients outside the clinic and dialysis unit.
8/1/14-7/30/17 Principal Investigator, 20% effort (Fink)
(NCE) NIDDK 1R34DK102177-01
Care Coordination/Telehealth to address patient safety in CKD
This study will examine the efficacy of a health kiosk designed to record adverse safety events in reducing poor outcomes in CKD
10/01/15 – 9/30/2018 Co-director, 5/8ths VA appointment (co-PI with L Katzel)
Baltimore VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI)
Baltimore PSCI is a VA center funded by the VA National Safety Center with the objective of developing novel innovations for improvement of adverse safety events of veterans with chronic kidney disease
9/1/16 – 9/30/2018 Principal Investigator, 20% (PI: Fink)
NIDDK R18 DK110955
Can a sick-day protocol improve CKD outcomes?
This study will us a remote capture IVR-based protocol to evaluate the feasibility of a sick-day protocol to minimize acute kidney injury in CKD patients treated with RAAS blockers and diuretics.
1998-2007 ESRD Network 5, Medical Review Board
1999- National Kidney Foundation of Maryland, Medical Advisory Board
2001 Editorial Board, American Journal of Kidney Disease
2002 National Kidney Foundation, Spring Clinical Meeting, Planning Committee
2002-2006 Chairman, Maryland Kidney Commission
2003-2004 National Kidney Disease Education Program, Baltimore Co-Chairman
2004-2007 Editorial Board, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
2006- University of Maryland, Institutional Review Board
2006- University of Maryland, GCRC Advisory Committee
2009 Associate Editor, American Journal of Kidney Disease
2011- Associate Editor, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology