Focusing Our Patient-Driven Advocacy on Transplants for All

December 14, 2022, 3:11pm EST

Surgeons performing a transplant

In 2022 the National Kidney Foundation took several key steps to follow through on our passionate commitment to transplants for all. The dedication of our patient community fuels us. Every meeting we have attended and each comment letter we have written this year to improve transplantation has enhanced patient lives. We've never forgotten the importance of hope in the transplant patient's journey.

Our kidney transplant policy priorities

We firmly believe our transplant policy priorities are achievable and have taken every opportunity to communicate them with the transplant community. We've spoken with government stakeholders like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Learn how a lack of government accountability and oversight costs lives.

This year, we focused on the following transplant goals and will continue to do so in 2023:

  • Expand deceased kidney donation
  • Increase living kidney donation
  • Advance health equity in kidney transplantation
  • Enhance transparency, patient-centricity, and shared decision-making
  • Decrease the number of recovered kidneys that go untransplanted

NKF submitted more than 15 comment letters to federal government agencies and attended several national conferences highlighting the policy objectives mentioned above. Thanks to our dedicated patient advocates sharing their personal transplant experiences with us, we conveyed authentic patient perspectives that helped us advance our policy agenda.

Learn how we brought the patient perspective to transplant policy

A huge win for the kidney community

One of our most significant accomplishments was removing race from the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). This incredible achievement is directly linked to the hard work of the NKF and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases. As a result, the OPTN unanimously decided to have transplant centers adopt the race-neutral eGFR and modify wait times for Black patients evaluated using the race-inclusive eGFR, improving access to the national kidney transplant waitlist–a huge win for people with kidney disease!

Learn more about the new race-neutral eGFR equation.

Patient-driven advocacy in 2023

We realize that we must continue making purposeful strides to implement our policy objectives nationally, and we believe our small steps are making incremental changes. While we may be running a marathon and not a sprint to improve the American transplant system, NKF will remain steadfast in our hope. Our patient-driven advocacy will eventually lead to a transplant system that all kidney patients deserve. 

See how you can take action to improve the lives of people with kidney disease.

Help NKF achieve transplants for all

You can help us make transplants for all a reality by signing up to become a Voices for Kidney Health advocate. As an advocate, you can influence public policy through simple activities like emailing, calling, or tweeting your legislatures. Sign up today.

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