With Thanksgiving upon us, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday!
We also want to express how thankful we are at the National Kidney Foundation for you, and for all of our many amazing advocates who work tirelessly to improve kidney disease policy with their lawmakers in Congress, with government agencies and in state capitals across the nation.
Since the start of 2020, NKF advocates nationwide have taken action more than 26,000 times, and as a result sent more than 41,700 messages to their federal and state representatives. By sending letters and e-mails, making phone calls, posting on social media, and registering for our various advocacy events, our advocates have relentlessly pushed to improve Americans' kidney health through legislation and public policy.
One of the outcomes of all these actions is that the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (S. 3353/H.R. 5534) has more co-sponsorship support in Congress than ever before, and for the first time in two decades we are hopeful that Congress will pass this lifesaving bill before the end of 2020.
Three states have passed Living Donor Protection Acts and several others have passed legislation to improve leave policies for organ donations. This progress would not have happened if not for patient advocates sharing how much these protections mean to those looking to both give and receive the gift of life that a transplant can offer.
Advocates like you have also met with legislators either in-person or virtually more than 600 times this year — including meetings with almost 200 federal representatives' offices during our first-ever Virtual Kidney Patient Summit in September — and helped NKF host ten briefings for Congress and state legislators on topics that include COVID-19, health disparities, and other important policy priorities.
You've also been critical in helping us ensure the patient's voice is heard in meetings with key regulatory agencies, including the Health Resources & Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Along the way, many of you have also shared your personal stories explaining why you advocate for these issues right here on this blog.
However you've shared your story, we're grateful that you've chosen to do so and are excited to have you continue to advocate with us as we head toward a new year, where we look forward to additional victories and to building on our collective momentum!
Thank you, and however you’re celebrating, we hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving!