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Kidney Advocates Expand Voter Registration in 50 States in 50 Days


June 14, 2024 – Flag Day                                                                         


Jennifer Rate

Director, Communications and Digital Operations


(813) 400-2394

Kidney Advocates Expand Voter Registration in 50 States in 50 Days

New Non-Partisan KidneyVoter™ Drive Starts on Flag Day

Patients Mobilize to Remind Government Leaders Who They Serve

Concerns Grow Over Lack of Innovation and Timely Care Access

Washington, D.C. – Today, Flag Day, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the oldest and largest independent kidney patient organization in the nation, announced an expansion of its successful national, non-partisan voter registration and mobilization program, KidneyVoter™.  The new registration drive called 50 States in 50 Days will engage all people impacted personally and professionally by kidney diseases, kidney failure, and kidney transplant concerns.

For 2024, AAKP has set a target of engaging over 500,000 KidneyVoters™, building on the success of their 2020 goal of engaging over 100,000 KidneyVoters™. Over 37 million people are impacted by kidney disease in the United States, nearly 1 in 7 adults, and almost 600,000 people receive life-saving kidney dialysis and over 90,000 people are awaiting a kidney transplant. Launched in 2019, the KidneyVoter™ program is the first and largest voter registration and mobilization initiative available to the broad and highly diverse American kidney disease community. The program has involved patients, families, kidney care professionals, researchers, and employees of start-up and well-established companies across the medical industry.

AAKP President Edward Hickey, III, a kidney disease patient, stated, “AAKP’s nonpartisan KidneyVoter™ program is designed to engage all people whose lives and livelihoods are impacted by kidney disease and to hold elected and appointed federal policymakers accountable for the kidney-related policies and decisions they undertake. During this Decade of the Kidney™, we are honored to welcome more people of goodwill across America to the fight against kidney diseases and the kidney community’s push to advance innovations that will reduce preventable suffering and the premature loss of life. America has never been presented with a challenge that we, as citizens, cannot solve, including the burdens of kidney disease.”  Hickey is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and has served as a senior staff professional in the U.S. House of Representatives and as a senior appointee in multiple presidential administrations.

AAKP utilizes a sophisticated suite of digital and grassroots targeting tools and leverages data gained from online education programs and signature events, legislative awareness campaigns, and issue action campaigns through AAKP’s Patient Choice, Patient Voice™ program.  AAKP formally launched the KidneyVoter™ registration and mobilization program in 2019 after first testing a variety of technologies and tactics in 2018 through AAKP’s national grassroots networks.  The program is housed in AAKP’s Center for Patient Engagement and Advocacy and coordinates several message campaigns, including “I AM A KIDNEYVOTER.”

AAKP Chair of Policy and Global Affairs and past president Paul T. Conway stated, “AAKP advocacy campaigns are widely embraced by people concerned about the lack of federal screening recommendations for kidney disease, unmet patient needs for new therapies to cure or slow disease, as well as federal agency actions that stymie innovation and delay timely patient access to vital diagnostics, drugs, and devices. Through our nonpartisan KidneyVoter™ program, we have increased the impact of kidney patients and organ donors within the policy process by aligning their concerns with the voices and votes of tens of thousands of other Americans. AAKP refuses to settle with status quo kidney care and looks forward to reminding elected and appointed leaders of their duty to solve the problems of the people they represent and further advance the bipartisan commitment to patient-centered care.” Conway is a 27-year kidney transplant recipient who has served in multiple presidential administrations, including as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor.

AAKP advocacy leaders, including AAKP National Patient Ambassadors, have received numerous awards for their policy efforts before the Executive Branch and Congress. AAKP patient and caregiver volunteers received recognition from both President Donald Trump in 2020 and from President Joe Biden in 2022 through the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) program. AAKP leaders provide unique patient viewpoints to government leaders on a regular basis and have elevated kidney community concerns during the past several presidential transitions (read 2020 and 2021 articles).

AAKP is a staunch defender of the principle of patient consumer care choice and protection of the patient and doctor relationship from third party interference. AAKP defines kidney disease as both a workforce and health care issue and since 2023, has labeled federal government decisions that knowingly or unwittingly harm kidney patients as Government Determinants of Health (GDoH).


About the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP):  Since 1969, AAKP has been a patient-led organization driving policy discussions on kidney patient care choice and medical innovation. Over the past decade, AAKP patient advocates have helped advance lifetime transplant drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients (2020); the presidential Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (2019); new job protections for living organ donors under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) via the U.S. Department of Labor (2018); and Congressional legislation allowing HIV-positive organ transplants for HIV-positive patients (2013). Follow AAKP on social media at @kidneypatient on Facebook, @kidneypatients on Twitter, and @kidneypatients on Instagram, and visit www.aakp.org for more information.