According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), the VA currently cares for around 600,000 Veterans with kidney disease, 40...
This year, the kidney disease community has come together to support us in powerful ways. With your help, we’ve passed landmark legislation, supported health equity advances, and more! Here are five incredible achievements that your support made possible this year.
1. Passed the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act
I was honored to represent kidney patients at the @WhiteHouse signing ceremony of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplant Network Act. This Act will improve transparency and accountability while modernizing the transplant system in the US. #MyKidneyVoice pic.twitter.com/ZF4TP7lgox— Kevin Longino (@CEOatNKF) September 25, 2023
Voices for Kidney Health Advocates work hard to educate lawmakers about kidney disease and the importance of passing legislation that fights it. Recently, their commitment paid off. Congress passed the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act! This bill ensures more organs make it to their recipient before time runs out.
"There are more than 800,000 Americans living with kidney failure. More than 100,000 of them are on the transplant waiting list. Fourteen people die every day before they get the lifesaving call that a kidney is available," said Kevin Longino, CEO of NKF and a kidney transplant recipient. "The bipartisan and unanimous passage of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act is a sign of how seriously lawmakers are taking the issue and a clear victory for patients. We've long said the transplantation system is in critical need of reform. This is the next step to finally beginning a much-needed modernization of how we secure, transport, and transplant lifesaving donated organs."
2. Launched KIDNEY EQUITY FOR ALL™
Stark health disparities exist in America's 37 million kidney disease patients. We launched KIDNEY EQUITY FOR ALL to create a fairer healthcare system for all. Everyone deserves an equal chance at a healthy life, regardless of ethnicity or background.
What do we mean when we say kidney equity?
Kidney equity means equal access to kidney care, transplantation, education, and research. It means fighting for policy changes that end disparities. It means promoting fair opportunities for all individuals with kidney diseases.
"Black and Hispanic populations are plagued with the most significant kidney disease burden and the highest rates of kidney disease mortality," said NKF President Sylvia Rosas, MD. "Despite this, they are exposed to inequities in kidney care including evaluation and obtaining a kidney transplant. It is imperative that lawmakers understand the impact of kidney disease in their communities and the policies they can promote to achieve equity in kidney care."
3. Raised millions for kidney health
With your help, we've raised millions of dollars! Because of your generosity, we’ve been able to connect thousands of patients to valuable resources, support countless transplant journeys, and educate healthcare providers.
"Every dollar raised or donated brings us one step closer to a future without unnecessary suffering and loss. A future where everyone who needs a kidney transplant gets one," said Alyssa Franklin Murray, NKF's Vice President of Resource Development. "We are lucky to have a community of such passionate and dedicated loved ones, advocates, healthcare professionals, patients, and friends in our corner. They are the heroes who power this life-changing work every day."
Connected patients to resources
Navigating kidney disease can be overwhelming, but with our help, no one has to go through it alone.
- NKF Cares answers questions about kidney disease, transplantation, and living donation. This year alone, NKF Cares answered the call of thousands of people.
- NKF Peers connects patients with a trained mentor who understands their experience. In 2023, we’ve paired hundreds of kidney patients with mentors.
Supported kidney transplant journeys
This year we launched Transplants for All with the goal of doubling deceased and living kidney donations. One way we are doing this is through the Kidney Learning Center. This center provides free transplant education courses that patients can take on their own time.
The Kidney Learning Center currently offers four courses:
In 2023, we were able to help thousands of people take their transplant journey into their own hands.
With our education, practitioners can provide the best care to all kidney patients. That's why we're proud that over 10,000 professionals took advantage of the Professional Education Resource Center (PERC).
Join us for an engaging session on how exercise, activity, & wellness can be infused with laughter.— NKF Nephrology Professionals (@NKF_NephPros) August 29, 2023
Uncover a new dimension of well-being in dialysis care and gain CE credits! FREE for NKF Members! Learn more here: https://t.co/XeeXs8Tvsp pic.twitter.com/UqHxIZqoFM
These critical contributors to our healthcare systems now have a better understanding of kidney disease diagnosis and treatment. With this knowledge, they can support patients and their loved ones better.
4. Added more than 232,000 employees to The Donor Circle of Excellence program
Finances are one huge barrier potential living donors face. Many need to take off work and travel to donate but can’t without a steady income. The Donor Circle of Excellence was designed to help remove that barrier. It celebrates companies that pay 80% of the living donor’s salary for the three to four weeks they need to recover from surgery.
“We need to rip down every possible barrier to becoming a living donor, and employers who join the Circle of Excellence are doing just that,” said Longino. “By supporting those willing to help others struggling with a life-threatening illness and helping to reduce any financial burden from living donation, employers can actively promote access to transplantation for all.”
Now 232,000 people can make the decision to donate without losing a significant portion of their income.
5. Aided in 100 kidney transplants
Almost 30% of donor kidneys are discarded every year and that number has been on the rise. It’s time to reimagine our transplant system and ensure that everyone who needs a kidney can get one. #TransplantsForAll https://t.co/zOSx3Ny2pZ pic.twitter.com/JiBYiepmJB— National Kidney Foundation (@nkf) October 16, 2023
NKF teamed up with the National Kidney Registry (NKR) to make kidney transplants easier. In 2023, this partnership helped 100 people receive the life-changing gift of kidney transplantation.
"Reaching this milestone is a testament to the dedication of our team and the power of collaboration,” said Longino. “We are immensely grateful to the National Kidney Registry for their partnership and to our incredible donor peer mentors who selflessly share their experiences to make a positive impact on countless lives."
“We are thrilled to be saving and improving lives through our partnership with the NKF and look forward to doubling these spectacular results in the next two years,“ said Garet Hil NKR CEO and living kidney donor.
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