Blog post

AKF hosts its fifth annual Kidney Action Week

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) held its fifth annual Kidney Action Week from March 18-22, the nation's only free online conference that provides engaging content for members of the kidney community — from caregivers to health care professionals — in one place.
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The American Kidney Fund (AKF) held its fifth annual Kidney Action Week from March 18-22, the nation's only free online conference that provides engaging content for members of the kidney community — from caregivers to health care professionals — in one place. You can watch all of the sessions from the Kidney Action Week playlist on our YouTube channel. Not sure where to get started diving into all this content? Here are a few session highlights from each day to help you:

Day 1: Living Well with Kidney Disease

Kidney Action Week 2024 kicked off with sessions centered around various aspects of chronic kidney disease (CKD) management. The session, Heart Health and Kidney Disease: What's The Connection? focused on a newly defined health condition known as cardiovascular kidney metabolic syndrome (CKM), which defines the overlap seen in CKD, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Dr. Sophia Claudel, physician and researcher at Boston Medical Center, provided attendees with an in-depth talk on all things CKM. She and Dr. Jamie Green and Dr. Ashish Verma answered attendees' questions about this health condition and shared tips on different questions you should ask your doctor. 

Day 2: Prevention and Awareness through Community Action

The second day of Kidney Action Week explored how members of the kidney community can take action to improve kidney disease prevention and awareness at the local, state and federal levels. The Congressional Briefing  - Rare Kidney Disease: Helping Patients Find Answers - featured LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO; Lorelie J. Yost, patient advocate at the IgA Nephropathy Foundation; Britta Dornan,  executive director of strategic relations at NephCure; Gillian Hooker, CGC chief scientific officer, former president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and adjunct associate professor at Vanderbilt University; Dr. Julie Wright Nunes, associate professor and researcher at the University of Michigan; and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) Each speaker shared how they use their unique platforms to advocate for the kidney community and push the needle to make health policy changes. This session provided insight on individuals with diverse backgrounds (nephrologist, patient advocates, politicians etc.) working toward a common goal of evoking change at the legislative level. 

Day 3: Navigating the Path to Kidney Health Equity

We opened this third day with a talk by Dr. Amaka Eneanya, chief transformation officer at Emory Healthcare, who discussed the racial and ethnic health disparities in kidney disease. She explained estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculations and how unnecessarily factoring in race to the calculation negatively affects the outcome of the eGFR lab results. She then shared how she has combatted public health inequities in the kidney disease space through the media and discussed how the national guidelines changed for eGFR testing and transplant listings, removing race as a factor. The subsequent sessions touched on health equity in prevention and wellness, caregiving, home dialysis and transplant. 

Day 4: Conversation for Kidney Health Care Professionals

The fourth day of Kidney Action Week 2024 featured sessions for kidney health care professionals. The sessions for the day included Kidney Kitchen Pro: Digital Resource for Dieticians, APOL1-Mediated Kidney Disease, Unknown Causes of Kidney Disease (UCKD) and more. During the Kidney Kitchen Pro session, Amanda Lane, MS, RD, CSR did a live demonstration of the Kidney Kitchen Pro resource, showing participants how it can be used with ease and efficiency.

Day 5: Kidney Innovation Day

The final day of Kidney Action Week 2024 ended with an eye-opening showcase of innovations in the kidney disease space. Dr. William Henry Fissel, associate professor of medicine, division of nephrology and hypertension at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discussed a research project on the universal donor kidney, an implantable option that mimics the function of a real kidney. Dr. Samira Farouk, associate professor of medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discussed gender-affirming kidney health care for transgender patients, while Dr. Pablo Garcia, assistant professor of medicine, division of nephrology at the University of New Mexico, discussed chronic kidney disease of unknown cause. Robert A. Montgomery, MD, PhD, director at NYU Langone Transplant Institute, closed out the first portion of the innovations showcase by discussing his research that led to the recent groundbreaking news of surgeons successfully transplanting a genetically modified pig kidney into a living person and solutions to the organ shortage crisis in transplantation. Friday also included a showcase highlighting clinical trials. 

If you missed these sessions, or any others, check out the Kidney Action Week playlist on our YouTube channel for the full videos from each day's events. 

We hope you will join us for next year's Kidney Action Week!

Kidney Action Week is part of AKF's Know Your Kidneys™ kidney disease education and prevention program. 

Kidney Action Week was made possible thanks to the support of Presenting Sponsors U.S. Renal Care; Event Sponsors Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company and Travere Therapeutics, Inc.; Track Sponsor Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Sessions Sponsors Ardelyx, Inc. and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 


Jessica Ransome

Jessica Ransome is the associate director of outreach and strategic partnerships at AKF.