American Kidney Fund

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Advocate, Inform, Motivate

March 2014

Dear Friend,

Thank you for helping to make AKF’s Kidney Action Day on the Hill a huge success! Whether you joined us in Washington, D.C., participated from home through our online Action Center or engaged with us on Facebook or Twitter, your voice helped us raise awareness of kidney disease with policymakers and around the nation.

This month, we are introducing a new feature on our website called Advocate of the Month. Each month we will recognize a dedicated member of our Advocacy Network who is working to increase awareness of kidney disease in his or her community. Our Advocate of the Month for March 2014 is Lana Schmidt from Liberty, Ill. An article featuring Lana and her work is included in this issue of AIM. AKF would like to thank her and all of our Advocates for their efforts.

We’re incredibly proud of the impact our Advocacy Network is having around the country. We encourage you to stay engaged and active with the American Kidney Fund as we continue to advocate for access to quality care.


Nikia Okoye
Director of Government Relations 

Advocates Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease on Capitol Hill

Kidney Action Day on the Hill 2014Earlier this month, 10 Advocates from nine states joined the American Kidney Fund in Washington, D.C., for our annual Kidney Action Day on the Hill.  Advocates met with their Congressional offices to share their stories and advocate for policies that affect individuals with kidney disease. During their visits, advocates encouraged their representatives to join the Congressional Kidney Caucus, increase funding for kidney disease research, and protect access to quality dialysis care through Medicare’s ESRD Program.

Kidney Action Day on the Hill also featured free kidney health screenings, health education and fitness activities for the Capitol Hill community. Click here for a slideshow of Kidney Action Day on the Hill.

Thank you to everyone who applied to participate in this year’s event.  We look forward to accepting nominations for our 2015 event later this year.

Review Our 2014 Policy Priorities

Review our 2013 Policy PrioritiesChronic kidney disease affects as many as 31 million Americans, with millions more at risk. The American Kidney Fund advocates for policies that provide access to health care and improve the quality of care for individuals with kidney disease. Learn more about our 2014 legislative and regulatory policy priorities by clicking here—and if any of these issues have affected you or a loved one directly, we would love to hear from you. Contact Nina DiPadova, Associate Director of Government Relations, at to share your story or provide feedback on these issues.

Advocate of the Month: Lana Schmidt

Lana Schmidt - Advocate of the Month - March 2014Our March Advocate of the Month is Lana Schmidt, from Liberty, Ill. Lana co-leads a local kidney support group, trains nursing students in home hemodialysis and has published articles on the benefits of home hemo in national media outlets. In 2012, Lana participated in AKF’s Kidney Action Day on Capitol Hill. Read more about Lana here.

Your Voice Is Powerful!

Advocate on Capitol HillEarlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said it will drop its recent proposal to remove immunosuppressive drugs from “protected class” status under Medicare Part D. This means that transplant patients will continue to have access to all approved immunosuppressive medications under the Part D program. More than 750 members of AKF’s Advocacy Network contacted their Congressional representatives on this issue. We are grateful to each individual who joined with us in reaching out to Congress and CMS on this issue. Together, we have made a difference. To learn more about this issue, check out our advocacy page.

Upcoming Events

Kidney Action Day on Capitol HillAKF will kick off its 2014 Kidney Action Day schedule on
Friday, May 2, with an exciting event in Philadelphia in cooperation with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Kidney Action Day is a free, fun-filled, family-friendly event with a serious purpose: helping people understand their risk for kidney disease and how to prevent it. Kidney Action Days are held in cities with rates of kidney disease that are above the national average.

We’d love to see you at an upcoming Kidney Action Day! We encourage you come out and support a Kidney Action Day in your area:

•  Philadelphia: Friday, May 2, 2014
•  Memphis, Tenn.: Saturday, May 17, 2014
•  Metro Washington, D.C.: Saturday, June 21, 2014
•  Augusta, Ga.: Saturday, July 12, 2014
•  Atlanta: Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014
•  Houston: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014

Click here for more information on Kidney Action Day.  For more information on other AKF screening events throughout the country, visit our website.


FeedbackDo you have a question about one of the topics discussed in this newsletter? Would you like more information about policy issues that are directly affecting you or a loved one?

We want to hear from you! Please contact Nina DiPadova at 800.638.8299 extension 7047 or with any questions or comments.

American Kidney Fund
11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852
Toll free: 800.638.8299
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.

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