American Kidney Fund to Host CDC Million Hearts Collaboration Biannual Meeting, Spotlighting Connection Between Kidney Disease and Heart Disease


ROCKVILLE, Md. (March 26, 2019) — As Kidney Month draws to a close, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is hosting the March 27 biannual meeting of the Million Hearts® Collaboration, bringing together 14 member organizations that are working together to disseminate evidence-based cardiovascular disease prevention strategies and resources, promote the use of consistent cardiovascular health messaging, and provide opportunities for sharing of best practices and evidence-based prevention approaches at the state and local level.

Million Hearts® 2022 is a national initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in 5 years. The initiative focuses partner actions on a small set of priorities selected for their impact on heart disease, stroke and related conditions.

“As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans living with kidney disease, AKF has long been working to increase the public’s awareness of the close links between kidney disease and heart disease,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO.  “Hosting the Million Hearts Collaboration at our office in Rockville lets us spotlight this important connection to all the members of the Collaboration, helping expand our reach.”

Cardiovascular and renal health are tightly linked, with heart disease being both a cause and a complication of kidney disease. High blood pressure causes more than a quarter of all cases of kidney failure in the United States, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people on dialysis. Other complications including anemia and hyperkalemia are common among those with kidney disease, resulting in stress on the cardiovascular system.

Many of AKF’s programs focus on education and prevention—seeking to help people understand their risk for kidney disease and the importance of keeping the disease, and other underlying conditions, under control. Know Your Kidneys™, AKF’s free kidney health screening program and the largest in the nation, provides blood pressure and kidney health screenings and education to populations most at risk. AKF’s team of public health professionals is continually developing new health content and campaigns, like the ACT on Anemia campaign, that target heart health and cardiovascular complications.

AKF aims to continue developing initiatives that illustrate heart-kidney connection to ultimately prevent new cases of kidney and heart disease, and empower those who have kidney disease to protect their heart health.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling the nation’s low-income dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

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