For World Kidney Day, 18 National Kidney Foundation (NKF) advocates from around the country converged in Washington, DC for our annual advocacy training. NKF staff developed and led a training to educate advocates about various legislative issues and empower them to share their personal stories with their Members of Congress and ask for their support on kidney-related legislation.
Our group was part of a larger coordinated effort with other kidney patient groups on Capitol Hill, all doing our part to raise awareness about kidney disease. NKF advocates met with over 40 offices on World Kidney Day, to discuss:
1) the newly re-introduced Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2013 (S.323 / H.R.1325), which would extend Medicare’s coverage of the expensive anti-rejection drugs that kidney transplant recipients need to take for the life of their transplant,
2) continuation of the current level of funding for the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which identifies people at high risk of CKD, and
3) protecting dialysis patient access and quality of care by stopping any further cuts to Medicare.
Advocates left Washington, DC feeling empowered and ready to get involved in their local areas as well as remain in touch with the Members of Congress with whom they met. Many of these advocates are already actively involved with their local NKF offices (a big “thank you” to the local offices we reached out to for suggested advocates!), and those who are new to volunteering with NKF were encouraged to contact their local offices to find out how they can get involved to help support local programs.