The American Kidney Fund in 2016 touched the lives of tens of thousands of people affected by kidney disease, providing financial assistance to 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients, giving free kidney health screenings to at-risk individuals nationwide, educating the public and kidney care professionals about kidney disease, and working to advance public policy on behalf of patients. This work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors nationwide. AKF spent 97 cents of every donated dollar on patient programs and education in 2016, earning the highest ratings from charity watchdog organizations.

Patient financial assistance

AKF provided treatment-related financial assistance to more than 98,000 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and every U.S. territory in 2016, representing 1 out of every 5 U.S. dialysis patients.

  • More than 82,000 low-income people living with kidney failure maintained their health insurance coverage through our Health Insurance Premium Program 
  • With help from our Safety Net Program, 14,000 dialysis patients were able to pay for transportation to dialysis, nutritional products, emergency assistance and other expenses not covered by health insurance.
  • 1,400 patients received medications at no cost, helping them to manage common complications of kidney failure.
  • 600 patients affected by natural disasters received grants from our Disaster Relief Program.
  • 43 children with kidney disease received grants to attend summer camps specially equipped to meet their medical needs.

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Free kidney health screenings

We provided free kidney health screenings to more than 10,000 people in 23 cities nationwide in 2016. These screenings checked for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes and other important health measures. In six cities, we held Kidney Action Days, major community outreach events bringing free screenings and healthy living information to people at high risk for kidney disease.  

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Patient and public education

We provided education about preventing and treating kidney disease to millions of people in 2016.

  • Our outreach to increase awareness of kidney disease generated more than 730 million media impressions.
  • Our website,, had more than 5 million page views.
  • Nearly 130,000 patients, caregivers and kidney care professionals participated in our social media community.
  • Nearly 1,500 AKF Kidney Health Educators are educating their communities about kidney disease and how to prevent it. 
  • Our award-winning blog, Kidney Today, featured informative and lively content written by patients, health care professionals and others involved in the fight against kidney disease.

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Professional education

More than 5,900 health care professionals took AKF's nine free, certified online courses in 2016, obtaining continuing education about caring for people with, and at risk for, kidney disease. 

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Clinical research

AKF awarded its newest Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowships to Anoop Sheshadri, M.D., and Megan Yanik, M.D. Drs. Sheshadri and Yanik join a long list of leading nephrology researchers who began their careers with an AKF fellowship since the Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program began in 1988. 

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AKF advocated tirelessly for issues of importance to kidney patients in 2017. We fought against discriminatory health insurance practices and advocated for increased federal funding for kidney disease research. Our Advocacy Network of patients, loved ones, caregivers and renal professionals grew to more than 8,700 members from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Members of our Advocacy Network sent thousands of communications to their elected representatives on issues that affect kidney patients, traveled to Washington, D.C. for meetings with policy makers, and visited their elected representatives in their home districts.

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Financial stewardship

We depend on the generosity of the American public to carry out our mission. In 2016 and 2017, we continued our longstanding record of spending 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs and services.

  • In 2017, AKF received its 16th consecutive “4-Star” rating from Charity Navigator. AKF ranks among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide out of more than 8,000 reviewed for fiscal accountability.
  • In 2016, AKF was ranked in Charity Navigator's “Top 10" list of organizations with the most consecutive 4-Star ratings. AKF is the only health nonprofit included in the list.
  • Consumer Reports in 2016 listed the American Kidney Fund as one of two "high-rated" charities in the Health category. 
  • AKF continued to maintain its A+ rating from CharityWatch in 2016.
  • Consumers Digest has named AKF one of the top three health charities in the country for spending efficiency. 
  • AKF continued to be a sealholder with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance in 2016.
  • We continued to meet the National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence in 2016.

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