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Nation’s Oldest Kidney Patient Organization Names Honorary Historian



Sarah McConnell
Marketing & Communications Manager

Nation’s Oldest Kidney Patient Organization Names Honorary Historian

 Dr. Stephen Z. Fadem to Chronicle AAKP’s 47 Year History of Patient Engagement

Tampa, FL – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the oldest independent patient led kidney advocacy organization, recently named Stephen Z. Fadem, MD as its first honorary historian. Dr. Fadem will assume the charge to chronical the organization’s history of patient engagement and public policy influence over the past 47 years.

“AAKP has defined effective and substantive patient engagement at the national level since its founding. Our success has been made possible by the deep commitment of patients, doctors and professionals dedicated to improving health outcomes and extending the lives of patients. Nephrologists like Dr. Stephen Fadem contribute immeasurably to the success of organizations like AAKP,” stated AAKP President Paul T. Conway. “Dr. Fadem is a prolific and respected writer, and we are honored to have him tell the compelling history of how kidney patients have worked through the past several decades to impact treatment and chart the course for strategic patient engagement for themselves and all who suffer from a chronic disease.”

Commenting on his role as the first historian for AAKP, Dr. Fadem said, “I was very honored to be chosen to head this task, but will need lots of help, particularly from those who have also served as Board Members and leaders in the past.”  AAKP is actively seeking the personal recollections and documents of former AAKP leaders, along with patient experiences with the organization. Dr. Fadem encouraged members of the kidney community familiar with AKKP history to contact him directly stating, “Before recollections and memories are lost to time, please send me your story through the AAKP office, or directly at fadem@bcm.edu.”

Founded in 1969 by six kidney dialysis patients at King’s County Hospital New York, AAKP has grown its membership to over 120,000 patients, family members and direct caregivers and has a rich history of legislative and public policy successes on behalf of kidney patients, initiated and driven by patients themselves. Dr. Stephen Fadem will be drawing on his extensive background to lead an effort to chronicle AAKP’s achievements on behalf of kidney patients with an eye towards greater achievements moving forward.

Dr. Stephen Z. Fadem is a life-long champion of individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease and serves as Chair of AAKP’s Medical Advisory Board. He is consistently recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors and was one of the first doctors to discover the value of the Internet for patient education. Fadem is the founder of several websites dedicated to the dissemination of clinical information including The Nephron Information Center, qkidney, kidneydistasters.org and dialysisunits.com. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Nephrology.

Dr. Fadem’s leadership and achievements are recognized throughout the kidney community. He is the recipient of AAKP’s Visionary Award, the AAKP Peter Lundin Award and the National Kidney Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. He serves as co-editor of AAKP RENALIFE, a magazine with a circulation of 20,000 which appears in 5,000 dialysis centers nationwide.

Dr. Fadem attended Tulane University and graduated the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He completed his Internship and residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center – MD Anderson and Hermann Hospitals and his Renal Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

AAKP’s national strategy for patient engagement is centered around five key principles: 1) Elevate patient voice in national policy debates and throughout drug, diagnostic and device development; 2) Protect the unique relationship between patients and their doctors; 3) Educate patients and preserve their choices as informed consumers of healthcare; 4) Maintain AAKP independence in all national policy and operational decisions – never surrender our letterhead; and 5) Operate on the policy  of “no surprises” among trusted allies and government officials.

AAKP is bipartisan in its relationships and non-partisan in its 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.