Chicago has many names––the Windy City, City by the Lake (which dates back to the 1890s), even Heart of America, because of its central location in the United States. A Broadway play by the city’s name lead to popular movie, and even Frank Sinatra plugged the city in the song, “My Kind of Town.”
Of course, it also earned the name “Mob City” back in the 1920s and 1930s when Al Capone and his gang ruled the streets. His most famous act was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929, in which he ordered the assassination of seven rivals.
But McCormick Place in Chicago will take on a different air Nov. 15-20 when it welcomes the American Society of Nephrology and its annual Kidney Week. In fact, it will be a special meeting this year as the Society culminates its 50th anniversary celebration. Organizers expect some 16,000 kidney care professionals from over 100 countries during the six-day meeting. Kidney Week “provides participants exciting and challenging opportunities to exchange knowledge, learn the latest scientific and medical advances, and listen to engaging and provocative discussions with leading experts in the field,” organizers say on the ASN website.
The five decades of advancing the treatment of kidney disease holds special importance in the field of nephrology, says current ASN president Raymond Harris, MD, FASN. “As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the American Society of Nephrology, it allows us to reflect on the role that ASN has played in helping to shape our discipline and to look forward to how nephrology will evolve. Since its inception, ASN has played decisive roles in promoting education, research and advocacy for our patients and our profession, and going forward we will continue to lead the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world.”
The Society began with 18 members in 1966, and is now nearly 16,000 kidney health professionals strong.
The society’s vision
ASN’s vision has always been to promote ways to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases.
It hopes to lead the kidney community by focusing on education, communications, policy, and collaboration. Other important objectives include:
- Educate health professionals and scientists by creating innovative tools and platforms, expanding to new settings, and increasing audiences.
- Transform kidney research through discovery and innovation to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases
- Encourage every kidney health professional in the world to contribute to, and benefit from, ASN
- Foster career development for current and future kidney health professionals
- Assert the value of nephrology to health and science professionals, health care systems, and other stakeholders to ensure high quality care for patients.
One important way to assess the quality of care is analyzing patient data. The conference helps to address that need with a session entitled, “What Do the Large Nephrology Databases Tell Us? Implications for Future Kidney Care.” Nephrology has a number of sources for data analysis, including the U.S. Renal Data System, the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study, and the PEER research group. This session on Friday, November 18, moderated by Kevin F. Erickson, MD, MS, and Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, MD, PhD, MPH reviews data from DOPPS (Francesca Tentori, MD); PEER (Allan J. Collins, MD) and the USRDS (Richard A. Hirth, PhD). That session, along with the entire ASN program, can be found on the American Society of Nephrology app, available through iTunes.
Learn about the history
At the welcoming reception for Kidney Week ’16, being held in the Exhibit Hall on Thursday, November 17 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, the society will provide participants with an additional unopposed hour to engage with exhibitors and explore the exhibit hall. ASN will have booths celebrating the past, present, and future of both ASN and nephrology.
More information on ASN’s anniversary is at www.asn50.org.