Press release

Hearst Foundation provides $100,000 grant to support American Kidney Fund's Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship program

ROCKVILLE, Md. (Jan. 29, 2020) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced a $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation to support a postdoctoral research fellowship in AKF's Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) Program. AKF's CSN Program funds nephrology's most promising young researchers whose work is designed to improve diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for patients living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The grant comes at a time when kidney disease is in the national spotlight with the Trump administration's Advancing American Kidney Health initiative to drive innovation and early detection of kidney disease and to increase the number of kidney transplants performed each year. At the same time, a looming crisis in the nephrology workforce threatens to stall progress as fewer medical students enter this specialty.

AKF's CSN program aims to drive innovation in postdoctoral nephrology education and help attract young scholars to choose careers in clinical research. The program offers postdoctoral students a two-year fellowship to conduct patient-centric prevention and outcomes research on kidney disease. Prevention research aims to develop strategies for preventing disease onset or delaying disease progression, while outcomes research assesses the effectiveness of various treatments and interventions.

CSN fellows receive advanced training in medical ethics, biostatistics, and epidemiology — fields that are essential to kidney research. They also have the unique opportunity to collaborate with AKF staff on national programming to serve kidney patients.

The Hearst Foundation, Inc. was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1946 with the intention of identifying and funding outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.

"The Hearst Foundation is honored to support the American Kidney Fund's efforts to drive quality and innovation in kidney patient care," said George Irish, Eastern Director, The Hearst Foundations. "AKF's CSN Program has a decades-long track record of important contributions to clinical research in nephrology and we are pleased to fund work that improves the lives of kidney patients and paves the way for better outcomes." 

AKF's CSN Fellowship program has trained dozens of nephrology's brightest scholars over the years, many of whom have become leaders in the field as well as mentors to new generations of nephrologists. Past fellows have gone on to pioneer national guidelines for detection and management of chronic kidney disease (CKD), led research on biomarkers' influence on the progression of kidney disease and spearheaded initiatives to reduce racial disparities in kidney patient care.

"Tomorrow's innovations in kidney care will come from today's young researchers, and we have been filling that pipeline for more than 30 years," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. "The Hearst Foundation's generous gift will enable AKF to continue advancing quality in kidney care, while inspiring a new generation of nephrologists to innovate how we prevent and treat kidney disease."

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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