by Gayle Hall

Every August during the Congressional recess, the American Nephrology Nurses Association offers members an opportunity to invite elected officials to their place of work to educate them on kidney disease. This year, Kidney Disease Education and Awareness (KDAE) Week was held August 5-9.

ANNA members are encouraged to invite policymakers to visit nephrology programs of all types: dialysis units, transplant programs, kidney disease screenings, chronic kidney disease classes, or clinics.

The 2013 platform for KDAE focused on three specific areas:

  • Protect against devastating cuts for dialysis treatments
  • Cosponsor S323/HR1428, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Act of 2013 to extend Medicare coverage for kidney transplant medications beyond the current 36 months
  • Support nursing workforce development through Title VIII funding.

Some highlights during KDAE Week this year included:

  • In Texas, Mike Asmus from Congressman Lamar Smith’s office visited Fresenius Medical Care’s Broadway Dialysis Clinic in San Antonio
  • From New York, Representative Bill Owens (NY) made a speech on the House floor about ANNA and KDAE Aug. 2.
  • In Minnesota, Senator Dave Brown, Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, and Senator Mary Kiffmeyer all visited a clinic, as did Representative Mary Franson and Representative Zach Dorholt.