Tampa, FL; – On March 20, 2013, The American Association of Kidney Patients joined the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) in Washington, D.C. as co-sponsors of a reception for the Congressional KidneyCaucus in the 113th Congress. The Congressional Kidney Caucus is a bi-partisan and aggressive advocate for the health and wellness interests of kidney patients and is co-chaired by United States Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Tom Marino (R-PA). Both Congressmen attended the event and offered very strong words in recognition of the professionals and caregivers who help empower and care for kidney patients, their support of patient organizations and the critical role kidney organizations and other stakeholders play in the development of effective legislation aimed at improving the health outcomes of kidney patients.
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) also attended the event and delivered remarks on the importance of healthy living and lifestyles as a key to prevention. Congressman Cummings reflected on his own family experiences with health issues as one of the reasons he is passionate about kidney disease policies and expressed his deep concern on the need to educate citizens on how to prevent diseases that impact kidney health.
AAKP Vice President and Co-Chair of Public Policy, Paul T. Conway, represented AAKP at the event and discussed kidney patient health outcomes related to dialysis and transplantation with Congressman Cummings. Conway said, “Congressman Cummings is a highly knowledgeable and staunch defender of kidney patients and his interest is well-informed based on his own experiences with family and constituents. The Congressional Kidney Caucus is a true bipartisan body whose motivations and interests are centered on patients and the honorable goals of disease prevention and the extension of life for those who have already been impacted. AAKP will continue to follow our strategy of greater involvement in the public policy process through increased engagement with elected leaders and collaboration with allied kidney organizations.”
Conway is a 1997 transplant recipient and is a former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao and presently serves as an appointed member of the Virginia Board of Health Professions for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
Other co-sponsors of the event included the Renal Physicians Association (RNA), American Society of Nephrology (ASN), the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), American Kidney Fund (AKF), National Kidney Fund (NKF) and Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC). Attendees included top congressional office and congressional committee staffers who work on kidney related issues as well as professors and medical researchers from top institutions including the University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University, government affairs specialists and representatives of major health companies.
AAKP is the voluntary, patient organization, which for more than 35 years, has been dedicated to improving the quality of life of kidney patients through education, advocacy and the fostering of patient communities. The programs offered by AAKP inform and inspire patients and their families to better understand their condition, adjust more readily to their circumstances, and assume more normal, productive lives in their communities.