Kidney Group Launches New Social Media and Patient Advocacy Awards

Kidney Group Launches New Social Media and Patient Advocacy Awards

Influencers and Experts to Gain National Recognition

Washington, DC – The American Association of Kidney Patients today announced new national awards designed to recognize the expanded role social media and journalism have as key platforms for educating and engaging kidney patients in the programs and decisions that impact their health outcomes.

AAKP will recognize social media savvy advocates, media specialists and journalists who have increased patient education and engagement by using social media, print and video to champion kidney health issues and health policy.

“Kidney patients face challenges everyday regarding their health, ability to work and desire to fulfill aspirations.  Social media and journalism are important sources of support and information for this community and AAKP plans to recognize and expand the number of key influencers working to inform and mobilize fellow kidney patients,” stated Paul T. Conway, the president of AAKP and a kidney transplant recipient and former dialysis patient.  Conway continued, “”AAKP’s national strategy incorporates social and traditional media as a means of ensuring the patient voice is heard as Federal health and regulatory agencies invite greater patient engagement.”Conway is the former Chief of Staff for the United States Department of Labor under former Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The new awards broaden the time-honored AAKP Annual Awards, which recognize individuals and groups who have contributed to the success and growth of AAKP and the kidney community at large, and whose contributions merit national recognition by patients.

AAKP is urging members, care-givers, health professionals and social workers to submit nominations for the AAKP Annual Awards.  Applications are available athttps://www.aakp.org/community/programs-events/aakp-national-patient-meeting.html. Nominations are due by August 27, 2015.

AAKP is the largest and oldest independent kidney patient organization in America and was instrumental in the bipartisan Congressional authorization of the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program.  Since the creation of the ESRD program in 1973, an estimated one million lives have been saved through high quality dialysis treatment.  The ESRD program is nationally administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS).

The new awards will be presented when AAKP convenes its 41st Annual National Patient Meeting on September 25-27 in Nashville, TN.  The AAKP Annual National Patient Meeting is the largest kidney patient education and advocacy meeting held in the United States.

  • National Social Media Education and Advocacy Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a national level of excellence through social media to either educate or advocate on behalf of kidney patients and their loved ones in the areas of disease awareness, policy advocacy or the creation of online communities.  This highly competitive award will recognize excellence on a variety of social media platforms and will include video, bloggers and social media content and sites that have grown large audiences through creative and effective use of social media.
  • National Patient Engagement and Advocacy Award recognizes leaders in the field of kidney patient education and advocacy whose body of professional work and personal commitment to advance the interests of kidney patients through policy, education or activism.  The award is open to patients, educators, policy practitioners and others whose commitment to kidney patient interests demonstrates a level of national excellence.
  • National Journalism Award is presented to a reporter or journalist whose work in either the print, online, television or web arenas has brought the needs and interests of the kidney patient community to the national forefront through journalistic excellence.  Presented either for a single compelling story with local, regional or national significance, or body of work, which over time has informed Americans of the critical needs and concerns of the kidney patient community.

AAKP’s annual awards for outstanding achievement and distinguished service are:

  • Samuel J. Orenstein Award is AAKP’s most prestigious Annual Award.  It is presented to an AAKP member who consistently renders extraordinary service toward the achievement of AAKP’s goals and objectives.
  • Peter Lundin, MD Award is presented to a renal physician who made contributions to the care, welfare and well-being of patients over a lifetime of devoted service.
  • Dominick Gentile, MD Memorial Award is presented to an ESRD Network that maintained a developed program, which significantly benefited patients.
  • Kidney Patient Support Group of the Year is presented to a kidney patient support group that has been active within their local community. This support group should have hosted community educational programs and activities to support its local patients and raise awareness of kidney disease.
  • President’s Award is presented to an individual who made a long-term commitment toward making AAKP a better organization and is determined by the AAKP President.

Nominations and supporting materials for the awards must be submitted by August 1, 2015. Visit www.aakp.org/community/programs-events/aakp-national-patient-meeting to download a nomination form.

The AAKP National Patient Meeting is a collaborative effort with support from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Tennessee Kidney Foundation and End-Stage Renal Disease Network 8, Inc., Home Dialyzors United and TransplantFirst Academy. The AAKP Annual National Patient Meeting is the largest kidney patient education and advocacy meeting held in the United States.  The meeting is an achievement made possible by the efforts of countless patients, families and healthcare professionals who have been affected by kidney disease.

Participants of the AAKP National Patient Meeting will have an opportunity to learn the latest scientific research regarding kidney disease, educate themselves on advances in new treatment modalities including advances in home hemodialysis and receive training in new strategies and tactics designed to improve their ability to impact Federal and state legislation and policies that determine the health care they receive. Nurses, social workers and dieticians will have the opportunity to receive continuing education credits.

Full annual meeting registration will cover health screenings at the AAKP Wellness Center and extensive professional and medical expert networking opportunities will be available to all attendees through the popular Lunch with the Experts program.

For more information on the 2015 AAKP National Patient Meeting, as well as sponsorship and vendor opportunities, please visit www.aakp.org/community/programs-events/aakp-national-patient-meeting.html or contact Diana Clynes, AAKP’s Director of Programs & Services atdclynes@aakp.org or call 813-400-2391.