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May 23, 2018

MORE Information:
Deborah Pelaez
(800) 749-AAKP / dpelaez@aakp.org


TAMPA, FL – Applications for the 2018-2019 grant cycle of the Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award are now available from the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP).  Applications are due July 31, 2018.

The Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award funds an annual lecture, presentation or program that will advance patient safety by exploring innovation in health systems management.  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 former Executive Director Jenny Kitsen.

Paul T. Conway, President of AAKP and a former dialysis patient and kidney transplant recipient stated, “For Americans who are receiving life-saving dialysis care, their health outcomes and lives depend upon the infection control efforts among the healthcare professionals who directly serve them as well as those who manage the health systems that deliver their care. The Jenny Kitsen Safety Award is designed to foster innovation in patient care and to further reduce the instances of preventable infections, an honorable goal that benefits patients, their families and taxpayers.”

Patients who undergo dialysis treatment have an increased risk for getting a health care-associated infection (HAI).  These patients are medically vulnerable, have weakened immune systems and are at an increased risk of infection.  They sometimes require frequent hospitalizations and surgery when they acquire an infection.

According to the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) 40 million Americans suffer from kidney disease.  Kidney care costs the American taxpayer over $99 billion per year, including $68 billion for chronic kidney disease care, and $31 billion for the more than 700,000 individuals who suffer from complete renal failure which includes those on dialysis or have a functioning kidney transplant.  The most common cause of kidney disease is diabetes and hypertension. Without dialysis or a kidney transplant, patients suffering from kidney failure will not survive.  Since transplant organs are in short supply, most patients must undergo dialysis treatment, a process that substitutes for healthy kidneys by mechanically filtering body wastes and excess fluids from the bloodstream, 3-4 times per week.

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 as outlined on the grant application.

To apply for the Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award online, visit https://aakp.org/jenny-kitsen-safety-award/ or for more information contact Erin Kahle, Director of Stakeholder Operations, AAKP Center for Patient Engagement & Advocacy, ekahle@aakp.org.

2018 Award Recipients

  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Renal Administrators Association

2017 Award Recipients

  • T. Still University of Oral Health
  • All Kidney Patients Support Group

2016 Award Recipients

  • National Renal Administrators Association
  • Renal Physicians Association

2015 Award Recipients

  • American Nephrology Nurses Association
  • Forum of ESRD Networks


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 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.

Follow AAKP on social media at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kidneypatient

Twitter and Instagram: @kidneypatients

Visit our website at: www.aakp.org