FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                 

February 19, 2019


Deborah Pelaez

Marketing and Communications Manager

(800) 749-AAKP






TAMPA, FLA – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) is pleased to announce the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition as the recipient of its 2019 Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award. The Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition is a partnership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation.


The Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award funds a program that will advance patient safety by exploring innovation in health systems management and education. The award was created in 2014 by the former Network of New England whose Board of Directors established an endowment to continue the patient safety work of the non-profit organization led by Ms. Jenny Kitsen. Among the organizations eligible to apply for the Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award are 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations, public and government agencies, and many other organizations and institutions.


“The Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Priti Patel, has done tremendous work to raise care standards and awareness among both providers and patients related to safety and prevention, especially in regard to bloodstream infections, and other vulnerabilities of immunosuppressed kidney patients. AAKP is pleased to award the Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award to this CDC-led initiative in recognition of their efforts and innovations to advance patient safety and improve patient health outcomes across the kidney community,” stated Richard Knight, President of AAKP, former in-center hemodialysis patient, current transplant recipient.


“This award is about ensuring patient safety is a top priority for all healthcare professionals who care for those living with kidney disease and empowering patients to take an active role in their healthcare journey,” said Diana Clynes, Executive Director of AAKP. “Every year, AAKP’s Award Selection Committee chooses one or more organizations that are dedicated to promoting patient safety and have created a unique opportunity or platform to deliver their message,” said Clynes.


“The partnership with AAKP has allowed the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition to expand its reach and impact within the kidney community,” said Dr. Patel “We are incredibly honored to receive this award and look forward to producing a novel resource that both empowers patients and helps to prevent infections.”


The Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition will utilize grant funds to produce a video that highlights patients as part of the care team and provides information on preventing infections, especially infections related to dialysis vascular access. The project will capture the patient voice and create an enduring educational product focused on informing and engaging patients on the topic of preventing infections. CDC will also deliver a presentation focused on patient engagement and infection prevention at the AAKP National Patient Meeting: Celebrating 50 Years of Patient Engagement & Advocacy, Sept. 6-8, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (


AAKP has a long-established history of working with CDC, and Dr. Patel was among the first recipients of the AAKP U.S. Civil Service Awards ( The AAKP and CDC announced its formal partnership in 2016 under the establishment of the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, a partnership initiative to promote the use of CDC’s core interventions and resources to prevent bloodstream infections and keep patients safe. AAKP collaborated with CDC to create the Conversation Starter to Prevent Infections in Dialysis Patients, one of the first patient education pieces developed by the Coalition. You can read more about the AAKP and CDC collaborations by visiting and


Most recently, Paul T. Conway, AAKP Past President, Chair of Policy and Global Affairs was appointed to the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) - a federal advisory committee appointed to provide advice and guidance to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC regarding the practice of infection control and strategies for surveillance, prevention, and control of healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance and related events in United States healthcare settings.


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 and policy-makers about the true impacts of kidney disease. AAKP executes a national advocacy strategy to raise the patient voice before the Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress. Tax-deductible contributions can be made through AAKP’s website,

Follow AAKP on social media at: 

Facebook: @kidneypatient

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