Press release

American Kidney Fund's Kidney Action Summit Brings AKF Ambassadors to Capitol Hill to Urge Congressional Support for Legislation to Improve the Lives of People with Kidney Disease and Support Living Donors

Today, more than three dozen AKF Ambassadors will meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to urge support for legislation that will improve the lives of people with kidney disease and provide protections for living donors.

ROCKVILLE, Md. (May 15, 2024)  — Today, more than three dozen American Kidney Fund (AKF) Ambassadors – kidney patients, caregivers and kidney transplant donors from across the country – will meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to urge support for legislation that will improve the lives of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and provide protections for living donors. The annual Kidney Action Summit began yesterday with a day of advocacy training. 

AKF Ambassadors will ask members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 5027, the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2023, which would increase awareness of kidney disease and expand preventative services, as well as the Living Donor Protection Act of 2023 (S.1384/H.R. 2923), which would safeguard vital job protections for living organ donors and prohibit insurance companies from declining or limiting specific insurance coverage due to their status as a living organ donor. Provisions of H.R. 5027 also include expanding access to Medigap plans, requiring that all people with kidney failure be guaranteed access to a Medigap plan regardless of the state where they live, improving access to innovations in kidney care, and the development of a study by the Department of Health and Human Services on increasing kidney transplants. 

"Despite being the fastest growing noncontagious disease in the country, kidney disease does not get the attention it deserves on Capitol Hill," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "The Kidney Action Summit is an important opportunity for lawmakers to hear from our Ambassadors about how their lives have been altered by kidney disease, so they can put a face to this ongoing public health crisis." 

"It's a privilege to be able to meet with members of Congress and relay specifically the issues that kidney patients have," said Stephanie Dixon, an AKF Ambassador from New Jersey. 

"It's so important to share our personal stories with members of Congress, the individuals we've elected to make decisions and create laws for us," said Tamara Walker, an AKF Ambassador from Georgia. "AKF's Summit paves a way to make our voices heard by sharing our unique kidney journeys. By doing so, the lives of those affected by kidney disease may have a more positive outcome." 

AKF is grateful to the following Corporate members whose support made this year's Kidney Action Summit possible: Akebia Therapeutics, Inc.; Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Amgen; Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ardelyx, Inc.; AstraZeneca plc; Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Bayer Corporation; Biotechnology Innovation Organization; Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Calliditas Therapeutics AB; CSL Vifor; GSK; Hansa BioPharma AB; HI-Bio; Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation; Novo Nordisk A/S; Pfizer, Inc.; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); Otsuka American Pharmaceutical; Sanofi; Spherix Global Insights; Travere Therapeutics, Inc. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 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. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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