As we gear up for the American Kidney Fund's 2023 Kidney Action Week, which will be taking place March 20-24, we're continuing to preview a few of the exciting sessions that are on the agenda for Kidney Action Week, one of the most comprehensive educational programs about kidney health for the entire kidney community!
This annual, week-long event brings members of the kidney community together during Kidney Month for engaging and informative sessions to support kidney health. It is free and 100% virtual, so you can attend from anywhere you happen to be.
In all, our schedule has over 30 sessions you can attend throughout the week, including Q&As with several nephrologists (kidney doctors) on various topics, so you can have your questions answered by professionals. You can view our full agenda here.
In this blog post, we'll be previewing "Innovations in Kidney Disease Treatments," which will be held Friday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET with John Sedor, MD.
What is your connection to and experience with kidney disease?
I am a practicing nephrologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Most of my clinical work is seeing patients during their hospitalization. The majority of the rest of my career has been in research and I've been interested in molecular mechanisms of kidney disease. About 10 to 15 years ago, I became involved in policy and advocacy and saw the burden that kidney disease puts on patients and their families. That's when I decided to get involved with the American Society of Nephrology and work on trying to promote innovation in the kidney space.
What is one thing you wish more people knew or understood about kidney disease?
I wish the public better understood that kidney disease is common and is a leading cause of mortality in this country. It is very underappreciated, and most people think, 'Well, there's dialysis, and we can replace kidney function,' but dialysis really is woefully inadequate. Your kidneys work 24/7 and we generally dialyze people three times a week for four hours at a time, so you can see the discrepancy there. People also don't know that kidney disease disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities and people of color. We need to do better at addressing this issue. On an uplifting note, it's an exciting time [in the nephrology health space]. There's an incredible amount of innovation moving down the pike that is really going to have a beneficial impact.
Without giving too much away, what will you discuss in your Kidney Action Week session?
I will give an overview of KidneyX [a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology] – its mission, how it was created, its pillars and what's coming down the pike.
Why should people attend Kidney Action Week?
Science is critical and public health is very important, but in many ways, things don't really get done unless you impact policy. The most important people to impact policy are the people with kidney diseases, their families, and their partners, because they tell the stories in the best and most meaningful way. People in government want to hear from those with kidney disease and their loved ones, and the more they participate and learn about what's happening, the quicker we will be able to get the policies, funding, and solutions etc. that are needed to help people with kidney disease.
John R. Sedor, MD, is a professor of molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and the Ray W. Gifford, M.D., Endowed Chair in Kidney Research at Case Western Reserve University.
Kidney Action Week is supported by Presenting Sponsors Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly Co.; and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.; and U.S. Renal Care and program sponsors Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Travere Therapeutics.