Press release

American Kidney Fund Brings Renal Community Together with Virtual Kidney Action Week

ROCKVILLE, Md. (September 13, 2021) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) will host its second annual virtual Kidney Action Week from Monday, Sept. 13 to Friday, Sept. 17. The free, five-day event will bring together patients, medical experts and advocates for 14 sessions throughout the week that will focus on healthy living in the face of kidney disease, with an emphasis on confronting health disparities. Kidney Action Week is made possible by the generosity of sponsors Boehringer Ingelheim/Lilly, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and US Renal Care. 

Kidney Action Week is open to the public, and more than 2,000 people have already registered to participate. For the full schedule of events, details and to register, visit

"People with kidney disease are looking for accurate, up-to-date health information and they're looking for support as they fight to live their healthiest lives in the face of this serious, complex disease," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "We're incredibly grateful to the sponsors, health experts and advocates from around the country who are joining us throughout the week to engage the kidney community in a virtual conversation about so many of the aspects of kidney disease — from prevention, to management, to dialysis and transplant." 

More than 37 million Americans have kidney disease, which presents no symptoms until the late stages and is among the top 10 causes of death in the country. More than 785,000 Americans are living with kidney failure, which is treatable only by dialysis or transplant.

Health disparities will be an overarching theme throughout Kidney Action Week and will be the focus of AKF's virtual Congressional briefing on Sept. 15. People of color are disproportionately affected by kidney failure and often face barriers to early diagnosis and effective treatments that enable them to slow or stop the progression of the disease, as well as barriers to kidney transplant. 

Kidney Action Week will feature live sessions during which participants can ask questions of experts in nephrology, renal nutrition and more. AKF is grateful to session sponsors AstraZeneca, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, GSK, Horizon Therapeutics plc, Natera, Sanofi Genzyme, Travere and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Kidney Action Week session highlights include:

Monday, Sept. 13

  • 10 a.m. ET – Finding Answers for the Unknown Causes of Kidney Disease: A Roadmap for Change panel discussion 
  • 3 p.m. ET – The Importance of Clinical Trials: Why Participant Diversity Makes a Difference panel discussion

Tuesday, Sept. 14

  • 10 a.m. ET – Home Dialysis and the Patient Experience: Could Home Dialysis be for You? panel discussion
  • 12:30 p.m. ET – Know Your Kidney Health Care Team: Effective Communication for the Best Health Outcome panel discussion
  • 3 p.m. ET – Living with Stage 3 Kidney Disease panel discussion

Wednesday, Sept. 15

  • 10 a.m. ET – Ask a Nephrologist Q&A with Dr. Akhtar Ashfaq, member of AKF's Medical Advisory Committee
  • 1 p.m. ET – AKF's Congressional briefing, Increasing Kidney Transplants in Communities of Color, will focus on the challenges of health disparities and what can be done to increase the number of transplants among people of color.
  • 2:30 p.m. ET – Ask the Expert Q&A with Dr. Blake Shusterman, AKF Kidney Kitchen® partner also known as The Cooking Doc®

Thursday, Sept. 16

  • 10 a.m. ET – Gout & Kidney Disease panel discussion
  • 3 p.m. ET – The Kidney Transplant Process: What You Need to Know panel discussion 

Friday Sept. 17

  • 10 a.m. ET – Life After a Kidney Transplant panel discussion 
  • 12:30 p.m. ET – Kidney Disease & Mental Health panel discussion

Kidney Action Week is part of AKF's Know Your Kidneys™ kidney disease education and prevention program. In 2020, AKF transformed its signature community kidney disease prevention event, Kidney Action Day, into Kidney Action Week. Kidney Action Week 2020 was a first-of-its-kind event in the COVID-19 era, providing a virtual space to focus on kidney health and kidney disease awareness and prevention for people nationwide.

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.

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