Volunteering with the Department of Defense on Kidney Disease

By Kent Bressler, RN,MA – Transplant recipient and Kidney Advocacy Committee advocate

In mid-2017, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) nominated Erich Ditschman and myself to join the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) panel organized by the Department of Defense (DOD) to review grant proposals.  As a kidney patient with FSGS, this gave me an amazing opportunity to represent kidney patients and help direct how grant funding is directed by the DOD for chronic kidney disease research.  I must tell you that I am profoundly grateful to have represented the National Kidney Foundation at this symposium.

Bressler , Kent Pic

On December 6th, I arrived in Reston, VA.  Once on site, I met six very talented and dedicated researchers who treated us with respect and dignity, not only during the panel meetings, but after the meetings.  They shared everything with us including the fact that they were grateful to people in the NKF community for our focus and interest in promoting research in chronic kidney disease. As a patient panelist, they were all grateful to get the human side attached to the research.

Scientists applying for a grant proposed to conduct innovative research focused on treatment and rehabilitation in numerous healthcare areas.  Overall, PRMRP panels reviewed proposals for $300 million across 48 research topics.  My panel was provided 17 grant proposals to review, all of which were related to chronic kidney disease.   Patient panelists, like myself, were asked to represent the collective view of patients and family members by preparing comments on the impact of the research on issues such as diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life.  Colonel Wanda L. Salzer, M.D., Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs expressed her appreciation for the consumer advocates’ perspective during the scientific review sessions. “The Consumer Reviewers on each panel are instrumental in helping the scientists understand the patient’s perspective and provide valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project. They bring with them a sense of urgency and remind us all, of the human element involved in medical research.”

When I come to Washington, D.C. in March as part of the 5th Annual Kidney Patient Summit, I will come better armed with experience to share with my Congressman and Senators about how research conducted by the government affects patients across the country.  The fight for a cure is held back only by those who have stopped looking and I am going to do my part to make this a reality.

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About nkf _advocacy

The National Kidney Foundation's advocacy movement is for all people affected by CKD, transplant candidates and recipients, living and potential donors, donor families and caregivers. We empower, educate and encourage you to get involved on issues relating to CKD, donation and transplantation.
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7 Responses to Volunteering with the Department of Defense on Kidney Disease

  1. Joe Karan says:

    I was part of this project a few years ago. They broke us into sets of 3. Of those one member was a scientist, One was a Patient and I believe the other was a physician. It was a wonderful project though very time consuming.

  2. bobbiereed16 says:

    Kent, My local Congressman, Keith Rothfus is on one of the military committees. If you can provide me some materials, I will gladly bring them up with him when we meet in March. In the past, I have communicated with him on multiple topics and initiatives of the NKF. Thanks–Bobbie Reed, Pennsylvania KAC

    • Kent Bressler says:

      Bobbie, I will prepare a few points about this latest project and how it effects FSGS, PKD and Interstitial Bladder Disorders. Thanks for the response.

  3. claudia buitrago says:

    Muchas gracias por su respuesta… la verdad sigo muy interesada en ser donante y me gustaría seguir con ello , vivo en Madrid España

    El 8 ene. 2018 17:45, Advocacy in Action escribió:
    nkf _advocacy posted: “By Kent Bressler, RN,MA – Transplant recipient and Kidney Advocacy Committee advocate In mid-2017, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) nominated Erich Ditschman and myself to join the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Peer Revie”

  4. Pingback: Volunteering with the Department of Defense on Kidney Disease | kidneystoriesblog

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