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AAKP to Participate in the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs 63rd Annual Conference in Chicago, IL


 March 14, 2017

Deborah Pelaez
Marketing and Communications Manager
dpelaez@aakp.org / (813) 400-2394

AAKP to Participate in the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs 63rd Annual Conference in Chicago, IL

 AAKP Seeks to Decrease Organ Transplant Waiting List by Advocating Innovation

Washington D.C. – On June 21-24, 2017, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the oldest independent patient-led kidney advocacy organization, will participate in the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) 63rd Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL. The conference will focus on patient-centered innovation and bring together the industry’s leading physicians, scientists, researchers and engineers dedicated to the rapidly changing field of artificial organs and how best to drive, build and deliver medical device innovation.

Richard Knight, AAKP Vice President and Faculty Member, will moderate the Developing a Bioartificial Alternative to Dialysis panel with Dr. William Fissell, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where Dr. Fissell directs research in artificial organs to create the first implantable artificial kidney.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to present with Dr. Fissell as part of ASAIO’s continued efforts to support and drive further successes in the development of artificial implantable kidneys as an alternative to dialysis for patients who would otherwise find themselves on the transplant waiting list,” stated Richard Knight, AAKP Vice President and ASAIO Faculty Member. “The hope such innovations offer current and future kidney patients is tremendous.” ASAIO’s leadership, representing specialists from 30 different countries who each offer unique backgrounds in artificial organ technology, is critical to this overall effort.

AAKP is a strong advocate for the development of artificial kidneys as an option for those who face kidney disease now or who will in the future. AAKP President Paul T. Conway was recently named by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the inaugural Chair of the newly announced Patient Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC) under the FDA FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

Richard Knight was particularly honored to participate having managed kidney disease for 20 years, including 2 years on dialysis. He received his kidney transplant approximately 10 years ago and is thankful for the gift of life with each breath, dedicating his life to helping others through advocacy and education efforts. Knight also has a long and distinguished career in public policy having served in communications, policy and legislative roles on the Hill, as well as the representative for his Member of Congress to the Congressional Black Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives.

AAKP is aggressively committed to decreasing the organ transplant waiting list, currently at 119,000 individuals, of which 82% await a kidney, by helping bring forward new innovations such as artificial, transplantable kidneys.

AAKP is bipartisan in their relationships and non-partisan in their operations.  Within the Executive Branch, AAKP works closely with Federal agencies with both direct indirect impact on health and kidney policy. In the Congress, AAKP elevates kidney disease policy issues with individual Senators and Congressional leaders, key Senate and House Committees as well as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

For more information about AAKP and its programs, visit www.aakp.org or call 1-800-749-2257.


Founded in 1969, AAKP is the largest and oldest independent kidney patient organization in America. Governed by a patient-majority Board of Directors, AAKP conducts national education programs designed to better inform kidney patients, care-givers and policy-makers about the true impacts of kidney disease, prevention efforts and treatment methods. AAKP publishes RenalLife Magazine which has a circulation of over 20,000 and appears in over 5,000 dialysis centers. The organization executes a national advocacy strategy in conjunction with allied kidney organizations designed to insert the patient voice into proposed policies, research efforts and care deliberations before the Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress.