ROCKVILLE, Md., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With some 31 million Americans suffering from kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is focusing attention on education and prevention during National Kidney Month in March. AKF will hold a kidney health fair on Capitol Hill and will bring kidney patient-advocates to Washington; provide an interactive webpage with health tips, videos and articles about kidney health; hold conferences for health care professionals in Atlanta; and launch its 16th annual art contest for children with kidney disease.
"Most people with kidney disease don't realize it until their kidneys are irreversibly damaged," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "This year our National Kidney Month outreach will focus on education and prevention, as we work with others in the kidney care community to reduce the incidence of this disease that is, in many cases, entirely preventable."
AKF's National Kidney Month events and activities include:
- The first annual Kidney Health Fair on the Hill, on March 3, 2011. AKF is teaming up with the Congressional Kidney Caucus to highlight the risk factors for kidney disease. AKF will provide free kidney health screenings to members of Congress, staff and the Capitol Hill community in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building. The event is co-sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, highlighting the link between diabetes and high blood pressure and kidney disease. This event is open to the public.
- On March 9-10, in conjunction with World Kidney Day, AKF will hold its second annual Washington AKF Advocate Training and Fly-in. Seven AKF patient-advocates from around the country will convene on Capitol Hill to share with lawmakers about their experiences living with kidney disease and to advocate for prevention initiatives.
- AKF's National Kidney Month webpage is a one-stop source for information and resources related to kidney health and risk factors for kidney disease. The page includes health tips, articles and videos, and will be updated throughout the month of March. The public also may join National Kidney Month conversations on AKF's Facebook and Twitter pages.
- In Atlanta, AKF will hold two conferences, "The Boomers Are Coming: Quality Care in Kidney Disease," for renal professionals on March 15, and "Identifying Chronic Kidney Disease and Slowing its Progression," a dinner symposium for primary care professionals in partnership with Georgia Power.
- AKF is kicking off its 16th annual Calendar Kids art contest, inviting pediatric kidney patients nationwide to submit artwork. The winning entries will be published in AKF's nationally distributed 2012 wall calendar. The contest runs until April 29.
About the American Kidney Fund:
The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts. It leads the nation in charitable assistance to dialysis patients: last year, 101,000 people—1 out of every 4 U.S. dialysis patients—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. The American Kidney Fund also fights kidney disease through public awareness campaigns, free health screenings, health education materials and courses, online outreach, and toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit www.kidneyfund.org.
SOURCE American Kidney Fund