The National Kidney Foundation: News

For Immediate Release
McDermott Contact: Kinsey Kiriakos, 202-226-1936
Marino Contact: Renita Fennick, 202-870-3386
Jackson, Jr. Contact: Frank Watkins, 202-225-0773
Fleming Contact: Michael Tadeo, 202-225-2777

Congressional Kidney Caucus Expands, Fortifies Bipartisan Credentials

Washington, DC (April 6, 2011) – Representatives Jim McDermott and Jesse Jackson, Jr. welcomed Representatives Tom Marino and John Fleming M.D. to the Congressional Kidney Caucus as the new Co-Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. The bipartisan Kidney Caucus provides a forum for discussion on quality of care and life issues and acts as a resource on the scope and impact of kidney disease, as well as serving as a source of information on kidney–related public policy initiatives.

“I’d like to thank Tom Marino and Dr. John Fleming for their commitment to the treatment and prevention of kidney disease,” said Rep. McDermott (D–WA) who co–founded the Caucus with then–Rep. Mark Kirk (R–IL) in 2002. “They’re eager to join the Caucus’ leadership and that is a testament to the fact that kidney disease isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue – it is a disease that affects 26 million Americans and puts another 20 million at risk. I am looking forward to working with them.–

“As a two–time survivor of kidney cancer, I am excited about the opportunity to serve as a Co–Chair of the Congressional Kidney Caucus,” said Rep. Marino (R–PA). “By sharing my personal experiences with other members of Congress, we will increase the awareness and understanding of the circumstances that face millions of Americans who suffer from kidney disease.”

“It’s great news that the Caucus is expanding to include new leaders,” said Rep. Jackson, Jr. (D–IL) who is the Caucus’ Co–Vice Chair. “We need all the help we can get in convincing our colleagues to support our priorities, and I know the new Kidney Caucus’ Co–Chair and Vice Chair will bring a lot to the table. Those who suffer from kidney ailments will be well–served in Washington by the experience and expertise of Tom Marino and John Fleming.”

Rep. Fleming (R–LA) who is a family physician added, “As a doctor, I look forward to contributing to this important Caucus. Promoting awareness of kidney disease and its prevention, research, and treatment are valuable goals and if we can advance those efforts in Congress, we will serve the public well.”

The Congressional Kidney Caucus strives to educate all members of Congress and their constituents that kidney disease is a common, harmful disease that is treatable. The Caucus also focuses on emphasizing the importance of regular screenings.