Advancing Kidney Equity: NKF's Collaboration with the Congressional Black Caucus

July 09, 2024, 11:36am EDT

National Kidney Foundation Staff at Congressional Black Caucus event

In late June, NKF’s Senior Director of Transplant Policy and Strategy Morgan Reid joined NKF’s Director of Congressional Relations Lauren Drew for meetings with prominent Members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The meetings focused on educating staff about the disparities in kidney health, and specifically on the work NKF is doing to address health disparities in access to kidney transplants in Black/African American communities. 


These meetings are a part of NKF’s ongoing effort, through the KIDNEY EQUITY FOR ALL™ Initiative, to promote awareness and action of disparities in kidney health. Specifically, the Black/African American population faces disproportionately high rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD), kidney failure, and related complications.

@nationalkidneyfoundation Our amazing advocacy team is fighting for CKD patients at the #congressionalblackcaucus. by bringing awareness to kidney disease health disparities. Learn more about NKF advocacy work at! #KIDNEYEQUITYFORALL #kidneyhealth #CKD #kidneyfailure ♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K

Join NKF’s fight to create a future where everyone has equal access to the best kidney healthcare possible. Sign NKF's Equity Spotlight Petition. Together, we can create a more equitable future in kidney healthcare.

Understanding Health Disparities

Morgan Reid meeting with prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus

Black/African American patients are 4 times more likely to develop kidney failure compared to White persons. They represent 13% of the U.S. population but account for over 35% of patients with kidney failure. Factors contributing to this disparity include higher rates of diabetes and hypertension, the two leading causes of kidney disease.

The transplantation landscape further highlights these inequities. Despite having a higher prevalence of kidney failure, until recently Black/African Americans were less likely to be placed on kidney transplant waiting lists, comprising about one-third of the kidney transplant waiting list. More alarmingly, Black/African American kidney patients made up only 13% of living donor transplant recipients, whereas 61% of living donor recipients were Whites.

Additionally, the now-removed race-based calculations in kidney function estimates and donor risk assessments have historically disadvantaged Black/African American patients, potentially delaying referrals for transplant evaluation or undervaluing donated organs from Black/African American donors.

Learn more about health inequities in kidney care.

Moving Forward

Addressing these disparities requires a multifaceted approach, including improved access to preventive care, earlier CKD detection, culturally competent education about kidney disease and transplantation, and continued efforts to eliminate systemic biases in kidney health assessment and care delivery. NKF is proud to advocate on behalf of these important policies and thanks the Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and their staff for their time and attention!

Do you want to make a difference? Become a Voices for Kidney Health advocate.

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