ROCKVILLE, Md. (August 4, 2020) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF), the nation's leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 37 million Americans with kidney disease, is grateful to Governor Jay Robert "J. B." Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly for recently passing SB1864, which includes a provision to create a Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force.
The new task force will study chronic kidney disease, living and deceased donor kidney transplantation for those with kidney failure, and the disproportionately high rates of kidney disease among racial and ethnic minorities — a longstanding focus of AKF, especially now as the COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharper focus the health disparities among these communities. AKF worked closely with the sponsors of the legislative package to include a provision establishing the Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force within the larger health care bill and is grateful for their support.
The task force will also address the need for awareness, preventive screenings and early detection of kidney disease, as well as health equity and reducing the burden of kidney disease on Illinoisans. In 2019, AKF launched a national campaign, Know Your Kidneys™, to empower individuals to fulfill their life's possibilities by preventing or slowing down the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure. Know Your Kidneys complements AKF's free kidney health screening program — the largest program of its kind in the country.
"AKF is committed to reducing the rising incidence of kidney disease in the United States, and we welcome legislation to tackle this issue in states that share our common goal. We commend the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker for taking this important step to address kidney disease in the state," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. "We look forward to supporting the Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force in any way we can to help prevent kidney disease and kidney failure in Illinois."
Nearly 33,000 Illinois residents with kidney failure rely on dialysis or a kidney transplant to keep them alive, and of the 3,900 Illinoisans on the organ transplant waiting list, 88% are waiting for a kidney.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.