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March 30, 2018


Deborah Pelaez

Marketing Communications Manager

(800) 749-AAKP or dpelaez@aakp.org





Washington D.C. – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the largest fully independent patient-led kidney advocacy organization in the United States, has named Mr. Edward V. Hickey III., U.S.M.C., as the Chair of the AAKP Veteran’s Health Initiative (VHI). The VHI, based within the AAKP Center for Patient Engagement and Advocacy, is designed to advance research, innovation and policies aimed at safeguarding the highest standards in kidney care and treatment for veterans managing kidney disease both inside and outside the VA medical system. AAKP utilizes sophisticated social media and grassroots technologies to engage patients, medical professionals, and the public and to voice their concerns among policymakers.

Mr. Hickey stated, “Veterans and their families face many unique challenges related to managing their healthcare and this is especially true for veterans who suffer from kidney and other complex, chronic diseases. I am committed to making certain my fellow veterans have their voice heard, retain access to the care they have earned and are legally entitled to at the VA and elsewhere and gain the benefit of new research and innovations in the realms of biologics, diagnostics and devices.” Mr. Hickey has served as a caregiver to kidney patients and his family, with a long history of military service, has received care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical system.

AAKP President Paul T. Conway, a former dialysis patient and current transplant recipient stated, “AAKP is honored to have Mr. Hickey serve as the Chair of the Veteran’s Health Initiative as well as on the Executive Committee of the AAKP Board of Directors. Veterans deserve full and ongoing access to high quality, coordinated kidney care from professional medical teams who understand their unique needs along with life-saving therapies including both in-center and home dialysis and transplantation. Mr. Hickey is committed to the ideal of service and his experience as a family caregiver, U.S. Marine and defender of veteran rights makes him an ideal advocate for veteran care.” Conway is a former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor and has served in roles under three presidents and three governors.

Mr. Hickey is an attorney with O’Melveny & Myers, an international, 800 lawyer firm with 15 offices in the world’s financial and political centers. He is a member of the Litigation Department and Director of the firm’s eDiscovery staff attorneys, a role in which he leads all O’Melveny staff attorney operations firmwide. He served as an Infantry officer in the U.S.M.C. as a Lieutenant with postings in Quantico and Camp Pendleton. His distinguished public service career includes posts on Capitol Hill as an Administrative Assistant, as a Special Assistant at the United States Department of Commerce and, following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, as the Senior Advisor for Homeland Security for the Director of the Office of Personnel Management under President George W. Bush. At OPM, Mr. Hickey also served as liaison to Veteran Service Organizations nationwide, including the Vietnam Veterans of America, AMVETS, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Mr. Hickey coordinated extensively with elected leaders and staff in the U.S. House and Senate as well as the White House to represent veteran stakeholder interests in the preservation of veteran’s legal rights during reforms to U.S. Civil Service laws. He is a recipient of a Silver Helmet Award from AMVETS.

In addition to his role at O’Melveny & Myers, Mr. Hickey is actively involved with community service efforts in California through the Inner City Law Center of Los Angeles, which services veterans and their families in the Los Angeles, California area. He is also active in the Armed Forces Committee and Veterans Legal Service Project of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which works to identify and address opportunities to assist veterans, active military personnel, and reservists with their legal needs.

AAKP Vice President and Chair of Public Policy Richard Knight, also a former dialysis patient and current transplant recipient stated, “AAKP is committed to making certain that kidney health policies developed in Washington D.C., especially those that impact veterans and access to high quality care, are informed by the independent voice of kidney patients and caregivers. Mr. Hickey is a leader who will be diligent in AAKP’s efforts to make certain that those who have selflessly served America in uniform have their voices respected and reflected when it comes to new kidney care policies and life-saving innovations.”

AAKP rolled out the VHI at the 2017 Kidney Innovation Summit at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. AAKP participated at the Innovation Summit with over 60 expert stakeholders from across the country, including the American Society of Nephrology, Federal health program directors, patient advocates, leading experts in nephrology and top medical research institutions including George Washington University, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, Texas A&M and the University of Washington. https://aakp.org/press-release/aakp-participates-kidney-innovation-summit-u-s-department-veterans-affairs/

Veterans are actively involved on the AAKP national leadership team and thousands of veterans and their families, as well as medical professionals, are involved in the organization. AAKP Board Members Mr. Dave White and Mr. Ted Gee, both kidney transplant recipients, are veterans of the U.S. Army. Mr. White is also the Chair of the Patient and Family Partnership Council (PFPC) of the Kidney Health Initiative, a collaborative of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Society of Nephrology. Mr. Daronta Briggs, of Washington, D.C. is an AAKP National Field Ambassador, a highly decorated Desert Storm/ Desert Shield U.S. Army veteran and the Founder & CEO of the Veterans Transplantation Association. Other AAKP National Field Ambassadors who are veterans include Ms. Celeste Fuller of Ohio who served in the U.S. Navy and Mr. Kent Bressler of Texas and Mr. John Mazzula of Massachusetts who each served in the U.S. Army.

AAKP is bipartisan in their relationships and non-partisan in their operations. Within the U.S. Congress, AAKP elevates kidney disease policy issues with individual Senators and Congressional leaders, key Senate and House Oversight Committees as well as the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

For more information about AAKP and its programs, visit www.aakp.org or call 1-800-749-2257.


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