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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                             

September 3, 2021    


COVID-19 Threat to Kidneys Drives Education Program by Kidney Patients and Doctors

Washington, D.C. - The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the largest kidney patient organization in the nation, today announced full open access to expert video and webinar presentations on COVID-19 and the Delta variant featuring top medical, academic, and government experts discussing the threat to kidney patients and kidney health posed by the disease. COVID-19 is a particular threat to those suffering from underlying chronic diseases including kidney diseases, kidney failure, and immunocompromised and immunosuppressed kidney patients on dialysis and living with kidney transplants.  AAKP represents the largest number of kidney transplant patients and living organ donor families in the United States. Over the course of the past eighteen months, AAKP has led patient and public education efforts on various aspects of COVID-19 including the need for greater patient inclusion in clinical trials, how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and interventions such as the COVID-19 vaccines and the recent FDA approval of a third vaccine dose for kidney transplant patients (read now). The organization works closely with federal agencies, researchers, and clinicians to encourage greater use of patient insight data in kidney treatment innovations (read CJASN Patient Voice article) and care (read CJASN Patient Voice article).

“For over 50 years, AAKP has been dedicated to providing kidney patients, their families, and the general public with timely information on safety, disease treatment, and prevention. As an independent advocacy organization, we are honored to have such a diverse range of national experts generously assisting us, on a volunteer basis, with our effort to encourage vaccination and safety protocol awareness among highly vulnerable kidney patients and their families,” stated Diana Clynes, AAKP Executive Director.

Most recently, AAKP produced a webinar on the Delta variant, vaccines, and kidney patients featuring Dr. Robert Montgomery, an internationally known heart transplant recipient and transplant surgeon who serves as Chair and Professor of Surgery at the New York Langone Transplant Institute. That webinar has already received thousands of views (Watch OnDemand). Throughout the fall of 2021, AAKP will be adding additional open access expert content on the threat COVID-19 and the Delta variant poses to kidney patients, as well as the severe medical risk the Delta variant poses to the kidney health of every American. AAKP conducts the largest virtual kidney patient education meeting in the United States and the event this year will feature issues including COVID-19 related concerns. The AAKP Annual National Patient Meeting will be held on September 24-25, 2021, and free registration is available here: https://bit.ly/AAKPNationalPatientMeeting2021. AAKP patient volunteers, Board Members, and Ambassadors are internationally and nationally known for their leadership and engagement in kidney research and advocacy and AAKP recently produced a curated reading list of Patient Voice editorials written by AAKP members that have appeared over the past several years in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, alongside corresponding peer reviewed research articles.


  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Delta Virus, Vaccines, & Kidney Patients: Ongoing Threats to Weak Immune Systems and Kidney Transplants (08/24/2021) Click to Watch

Featuring: Dr. Robert Montgomery, Chair & Professor of Surgery, New York Langone Transplant Institute

  • AAKP Patient Impact Statement: News! CDC Embraces FDA Authorization of Third Vaccine Dose for Kidney Transplant Patients (08/13/2021) Read Now
  • AAKP Patient Impact Statement: FDA Approval of Third Vaccine Dose for Kidney Transplant Patients (08/13/2021) Read Now
  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Coronavirus and Kidney Patient Update on Vaccinations and Mutation Strains: A CDC Expert Webinar hosted by AAKP (03/24/2021) Click to Watch

Featuring: Ana Cecilia Bardossy, MD; Medical Officer, Dialysis Safety Team Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and Shannon Novosad, MD, MPH; Medical Officer, Dialysis Safety Team Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Kidney Patients and the COVID-19 Vaccine (01/26/2021) Click to Watch

Featuring: Deidre C. Crews, MD, MsC; Associate Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine and Michael Alan Rees, MD, PhD; Director, Renal Transplantation, University of Toledo; CEO, Alliance for Paired Donation

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Coronavirus and Kidney Patients Update - A CDC Expert Webinar hosted by AAKP (08/25/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring:Shannon Novosad, MD, MPH; Medical Officer, Dialysis Safety Team Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • AAKP Global Summit Session: Coronavirus: Treatment Immunosuppressed Populations during a Global Pandemic (07/16/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring:Olivia Kates, MD, University of Washington


  • AAKP National Patient Meeting: America’s Veterans: Kidney Health During COVID-19 (09/11/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring:Rudy Rodriguez, MD; Chair, ABIM Nephrology Specialty Board; Vice-Chair, Dept. of Medicine, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, State of Washington

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: VA Kidney Program's Response to COVID-19 (05/21/2020)Click to Watch

Featuring: Susan Crowley, MD, MBA, FASN; Professor of Medicine (Nephrology); VHA National Program Director for Kidney Disease and Dialysis; Chief, Renal Section, VA Connecticut Healthcare Systems

  • Coronavirus: Observations of Healthcare Systems Responses to Pandemic (Nonprofit, Private and VA) (07/17/2021)Click to Watch

Featuring: Stephen Fadem, MD, FASN, FACP; Chair, AAKP Medical Advisory Board


  • AAKP Global Summit: Coronavirus: Kidney Community Stakeholder Response to Global Pandemic (07/16/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Alan Kliger, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, and Vice President, Chief Quality Officer, Yale New Haven Health System, Chair Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety; Emily Blumberg, MD, Transplant Infectious Diseases specialist, Director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases Program and Infectious Diseases Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, Immediate Past President, American Society of Transplantation

  • AAKP Global Summit: Coronavirus: America’s Largest Kidney Innovation Collaborative Responds (07/16/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Melissa West, Acting Vice President, Research, Discovery and Innovation; Kidney Health Initiative, American Society of Nephrology

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Fighting Coronavirus Upstream: What Early-Stage Kidney Disease Patients Need to Know (04/29/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Stephen Fadem, MD, FASN, FACP; Chair, AAKP Medical Advisory Board


  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: COVID-19: Kidney Patient Planning for a Safe Holiday Season (11/17/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Jeffrey Silberzweig, MD, Chief Medical Officer, The Rogosin Institute

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Back to School: COVID-19 Considerations for Pediatric Kidney Patients & Kidney Patient Households (08/27/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring:David Hains, MD; Chief, Division of Pediatric Nephrology for Children Indiana University School of Medicine; Suzie Hedrick, RN, Shift Coordinator in the Pediatric Dialysis Unit, Riley Hospital for Children; and Emily Whitacre, mother to 6-year-old transplant recipient, Henry

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Nutrition & COVID-19: The Importance of Keeping it Kidney Friendly (06/03/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Barry H. Smith, MD, PhD; President & CEO, Dreyfus Health Policy and Research Center and   Nancy Uhland, FNP-C, DNP; Program Manager, Dreyfus Health Policy and Research Center

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Mental Health Management During COVID-19 (05/29/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Renee Bova-Collis, MSW, LCSW; Patient Services Director, Quality Insights Renal Network 5

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Taking Care of Your Dialysis Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic (04/17/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Ari D. Kramer, MD, Spartanburg Medical Center and Gerald A. Beathard, MD, PhD, FACP, FCPA, FASN, FASDIN; University of Texas Medical Branch, Interventional Nephrology Program

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Coronavirus and Transplant Patients: Get the Facts, Save a Life - Hosted by AAKP in partnership with American Society of Transplantation and American Society of Transplant Surgeons (04/10/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring: Emily Blumberg, MD; Past President, American Society of Transplantation; Transplant Infectious Diseases Specialists & Director, Transplant Infectious Diseases Program & Infectious Diseases Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania and Lloyd Ratner, MD, MPH, FACS; Past President, American Society of Transplant Surgeons; Professor of Surgery, Director of Renal & Pancreatic Transplantation, Columbia University


  • AAKP Global Summit: Coronavirus: Accelerating the Adoption of Telehealth & Telemedicine (07/16/2020)Click to Watch

Featuring: Janice Lea, MD, MSc, FASN, Professor of Medicine, Emory University, Chief Medical Director, Emory Dialysis; AAKP National Board of Director

  • AAKP Global Summit: Coronavirus: Transitioning Patients from Telehealth & Telemedicine Back to In-person Care (07/16/2020)Click to Watch

Featuring:Neal Sikka, MD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Emergency Medicine; Program Director, Mobile Health Care: Innovations in Telemedicine; George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences

  • AAKP HealthLine Webinar: Telemedicine Utilization in the COVID-19 Era: What Patients Should Know (05/20/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring:Amber Paulus, PhD, RN, CPHQ, Rebecca J. Schmidt, DO, FACP, FASN; Janice Lea, MD, MSC, FASN; Irfan Agha, MD, MRCP (UK); Patrick O. Gee, Sr., PhD, JLC


  • AAKP Public Comment: National Academies of Sciences’ draft COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Framework (09/02/2020) Click to Watch

FeaturingPaul T. Conway, AAKP Chair of Policy and Global Affairs

  • Clinical Trials: Expanding Opportunities for All Kidney Patients in the Midst of COVID-19 and Beyond (07/19/2020) Click to Watch

Featuring:Janice Lea, MD, MSc, FASN, Professor of Medicine, Emory University, Chief Medical Director, Emory Dialysis; AAKP National Board of Director and Anna Greka, MD, PhD; Institute Member, Director of the Kidney Disease Initiative, Broad Institute of MIT

  • ·AAKP Global Summit: How Innovation and Community Engagement Furthers Kidney Research at NIDDK (07/16/2020)Click to Watch

Featuring: Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, MACP, Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

  • Thoughts on Juneteenth, from AAKP President Richard Knight (06/19/2020) Read Now
  • Diversity & Inclusion in COVID-19 Trials: Insights & Tactics (06/09/2020), Presented by Richard Knight, AAKP President during partner webinar with CTTI Click to Watch

AAKP and its strategic partners at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) also host the largest patient-led virtual meeting on kidney disease, the Global Summit on Kidney Disease Innovations, which highlights the growing patient consumer demand for greater care choices and improved health outcomes. The Global Summit is conducted under the leadership of Co-Chairs Dr. Dominic Raj, MBBS, MD, DM, DNB, FACP, FASN, Director of the Division of Kidney Diseases and Hypertension at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and Paul T. Conway, AAKP's Chair for Policy and Global Affairs. The 2021 Global Summit engaged a combined audience of over 20,000 viewers across 80 countries and exceeded their 2020 virtual attendance record established at the start of COVID-19 pandemic. Content from the event is available OnDemand continues to draw viewers worldwide. The Global Summit is a key component of AAKP's The Decade of the Kidney™, an AAKP global initiative (read article) launched in 2019 for the 2020-2030 decade to help U.S. and international policymakers better address the devastating human and societal costs of kidney diseases based on patient-defined priorities. The Global Summit has accelerated engagement in an expanding international consortium of influencers, led by patient consumers and advocates, committed to a new era in kidney medicine marked by more inclusive clinical trials, greater use of patient insight data, personalized medicine, and disruptive technologies including artificial implantable and wearable kidneys. The patient-led consortium includes academic and medical researchers, clinical trial designers, innovators, capital market investors, companies, non-governmental, and faith-based organizations, as well as elected and appointed government leaders across the globe. Based on the ongoing success and rapidly expanding interest in The Global Summit, AAKP and GWU have already opened pre-registration for the May 2022 Global Summit on Kidney Disease Innovations.


About the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP): Founded in 1969, AAKP is the largest kidney patient organization driving policy discussions on kidney patient consumer care choice and treatment innovations. By 1973, AAKP patient collaborations with the U.S. Congress and White House helped gain passage of dialysis coverage for any person suffering kidney failure, creating the only disease specific, taxpayer-funded entitlement program in America. That program, the End Stage Renal Disease Program (ESRD) administered by CMS, has saved over one million lives. In the past decade, AAKP patients have helped gain lifetime transplant drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients (2020); new patient-centered policies via the White House Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (2019); new job protections for living organ donors under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) from the U.S. Department of Labor (2018); and Congressional legislation allowing HIV-positive organ transplants for HIV-positive patients (2013). AAKP virtual platforms and social networks are internationally known for their impact. Follow AAKP on social media at @kidneypatient on Facebook and @kidneypatients on Twitter, and visit their website at www.aakp.org.


Jennifer Rate

Marketing and Communications Manager


(813) 400-2394