NKF Statement on Congressional Action to Support Living Organ Donation in Family and Medical Leave Act

June 26, 2018
Quotes for attribution to National Kidney Foundation
“The House Committee on Appropriations will include language requested by Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) to clarify that living organ donors can take time-off through the Family and Medical Leave Act. The National Kidney Foundation applauds Representative Herrera Beutler for championing the cause of living organ donation and for her leadership in bringing this forward.”
“The language will be contained in the Committee Report to the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The provision requests the Department of Labor to give notice on its website, or in other public communications, that living donors are eligible for family medical leave when they donate an organ to another person.  Representative Herrera Beutler’s efforts will remove a significant barrier for prospective organ donors who may not step forward if they are afraid to lose their job during their recovery period after surgery.” 
“The National Kidney Foundation is proud to have aided Representative Herrera Beutler on this provision.  On behalf of nearly 100,000 Americans waiting for a kidney, we sincerely honor and thank her for her commitment to alleviating some of the barriers faced by living organ donors.  It is only by removing these barriers that we can increase living organ donation and give patients a second chance at life.” 
Living organ donation not only saves lives, it saves money. Each year, Medicare spends $87,000 per dialysis patient and less than half, $32,500, for a transplant patient. Encouraging living organ donation by providing job protection for employees who become organ donors is a smart business decision and the right thing to do.”
National Kidney Foundation Living Donation Resources
THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free help line 855.NKF.CARES (855.653.2273), peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All of these resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a life-saving living organ donation.  For more information visit www.kidney.org/livingdonation.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  1 in 3 American adults 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 African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.