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.

  • 79,300 kidney failure patients maintained their health insurance coverage through our Health Insurance Premium Program.
  • With help from our Safety Net Program, 12,250 dialysis patients were able to pay for transportation to dialysis, nutritional products, emergency assistance and other expenses not covered by health insurance.
  • 1,600 patients received medications at no cost, helping them to manage common complications of kidney failure.
  • 39 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 9,000 people in 25 cities nationwide in 2015. These screenings checked for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes and other important health measures. In eight 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 2015.

  • Our outreach to increase awareness of kidney disease generated more than 430 million media impressions.
  • Our website,, had more than 5 million page views.
  • More than 110,000 patients, caregivers and kidney care professionals participated in our social media community.
  • Nearly 1,000 people became AKF Kidney Health Educators in their communities. 
  • Our 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 6,200 health care professionals took AKF's 11 free, certified online courses in 2015, obtaining continuing education about caring for people with, and at risk for, kidney disease. We introduced three new courses in 2015. 

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Clinical research

AKF awarded its newest Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowship to John Stanifer, M.D., M.Sc. in 2015. Dr. Stanifer's research aims to assess the health literacy of individuals with chronic kidney disease from an underserved community in southeastern North Carolina with a large American Indian and African American population. Dr. Stanifer joins a long list of leading researchers who have been funded by AKF 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 2015. We fought against discriminatory health insurance practices and advocated for increased federal funding for kidney disease research and lifetime Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs for transplant patients. Our Advocacy Network of patients, loved ones, caregivers and renal professionals grew to more than 5,100 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.

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Financial stewardship

We depend on the generosity of the American public to carry out our mission. In 2015, we continued our longstanding record of spending 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs and services.

  • In 2016, AKF received its 15th consecutive “Four 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 2015, AKF also was named to Charity Navigator's “Top 10" list of organizations with the most consecutive Four Star ratings.
  • Consumer Reports in 2015 listed the American Kidney Fund as one of the "Best Charities for Your Donations." 
  • AKF continued to maintain its A+ rating from CharityWatch in 2015.
  • 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 2015.
  • We continued to meet the National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence in 2015.

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