Hundreds of Voices for Kidney Health Advocates Join the fight to Improve kidney health for Millions
Washington, D.C., – March 2, 2022 — Today the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) hosts its 9th Annual Kidney Patient Summit bringing together more than 220 Voices for Kidney Health advocates in partnership with kidney organizations across the United States to virtually meet with their Congressional delegations and share their personal kidney journeys to help inspire action on behalf of the 37 million Americans who have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease.
As COVID-19 and its variants continue to create more kidney patients, our message to lawmakers is more urgent than ever. NKF Voices for Kidney Health advocates are coming from nearly all 50 states to share their personal stories and urge Members of Congress to advance kidney disease prevention, early detection, treatment, research, and access to transplants, including living organ donation. Our Voices’ advocates will be joined by advocates from Home Dialyzors United, Nephcure Kidney International, the Alport Syndrome Foundation, IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America, and PKD Foundation to advance public policies that will promote better kidney health for all Americans. The summit and its participants are supported in their advocacy efforts by the following sponsors: CareDX, Horizon Therapeutics, and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
Specifically, Voices’ advocates will be urging policymakers to do the following:
- Increase federal investment in programs that promote kidney disease research, awareness, and early detection;
- Support the Living Donor Protection Act (S. 377 and HR 1255), which would prohibit discrimination against living donors in life, disability, and long-term care insurance; and
- Support the Improving Access to Home Dialysis bill (HR5466) to eliminate barriers to accessing all treatment options for dialysis patients.
A pre-summit kickoff consisting of virtual training meetings was held on Thursday, February 24th to empower advocates, their families, and care partners and help them best use their collective voices and experiences related to kidney disease to champion NKF legislative priorities.
“The Kidney Patient Summit gives our patients and advocates an opportunity to fight passionately for legislation that improves the lives of those with kidney disease,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. “With millions of adults in the U.S. living with kidney disease and another 80 million Americans at risk for developing it, we continue to fight for legislation that addresses this unrecognized public health crisis. This year, more than ever before, we must emphasize the importance of good kidney health and the unique risk and burden kidney patients face with COVID-19 and its many variants.”
The Kidney Patient Summit is focused on individuals who have kidney disease, dialysis patients, living donors, family members and care partners, all united by the affirmation and hashtag “My Kidney Voice” (#MyKidneyVoice)to underscore the direct relationship between having at least one healthy kidney and living at all. Our Voices for Kidney Health advocates will emphasize this message during personal meetings with their Congressional delegations on Tuesday, March 2nd.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.