Kidney Patients Highlight Authors to Celebrate National Doctors Day

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The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the largest and oldest independent kidney patient organization in the nation, is celebrating National Doctors Day by highlighting three top kidney medical experts and authors known for their tireless work as advocates for patients and high-quality healthcare. Since 1933, March 30 has been recognized as National Doctors Day, an annual observance aimed at appreciating physicians who help save lives.

AAKP defines high quality healthcare as patient care choice of, and access to, medical innovations that best empower kidney patients to pursue the same aspirations as any other American. Those aspirations include maintaining part-time or full-time work in a chosen profession or trade, starting and providing for a family, owning a home, and a secure retirement. AAKP is a strong advocate for greater innovation in kidney-related diagnostics, drugs, and devices and the removal of government barriers that impede timely regulatory and payment approvals.

AAKP President Edward V. Hickey, III, stated, “Kidney disease has a devastating impact on people, their employment, and their families. Treating it effectively requires highly educated and credentialed professionals who possess both scientific and medical expertise as well as the sophisticated ability to understand how this disease impacts people within the context of everyday life. On National Doctors Day, we salute all kidney professionals and call special attention to three medical leaders whose books have impacted the public’s understanding of the disease and why America must move beyond status quo care, adopt early screening for at-risk people, embrace innovation, and save more lives.” Hickey is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Chair of AAKP’s Veterans Health Initiative, and has a professional background that includes senior posts on Capitol Hill and in two presidential administrations.

AAKP highlighted their strong ally and nephrologist Dr. Paul L. Kimmel, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Emeritus at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science (GWU/SMHS), and the launch of his recently released book entitled “The Body’s Keeper: A Social History of Kidney Failure and Its Treatments.” For the past six years, AAKP has been a strategic partner with GWU/SMHS on the annual Global Summit on Kidney Disease Innovations, a virtual international event that draws medical experts, industry leaders, and patients from over 100 nations.

In his book, Dr. Kimmel takes readers on a journey through the history of kidney disease, dialysis, and transplantation, often drawing on both his extensive research and decades of experience in the field. Dr. Kimmel explains the development of treatments, technologies, and medical practices that have advanced the care of patients with kidney diseases and saved lives. The Body’s Keeper includes case studies, personal histories, and first-hand accounts that unveil the complexities of modern healthcare by examining the exploitation of vulnerable populations, how the lack of opportunity and access to timely care have led to life-threatening consequences for many Americans, and how misalignments in payments, incentives, and overwhelming unmet patient needs contribute to suffering on a wide scale. Dr. Kimmel discussed his book with AAKP’s Paul T. Conway, Chair of Policy and Global Affairs and a former dialysis patient and 26-year transplant recipient, during an interview AAKP has made available for free OnDemand. Conway has served in four presidential administrations and on the Nephrology Specialty Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

In addition to Dr. Kimmel, AAKP also highlighted two other highly esteemed fellow kidney professionals and their books. Dr. Stephen Z. Fadem, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Nephrology, and Chair of AAKP’s Medical Advisory Board is the author of “Staying Healthy with Kidney Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients,” published in 2022. Dr. Fadem discussed his book before an audience of patients that AAKP has also made available for free OnDemand. Dr. Vanessa Grubbs, Associate Director of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University of California San Francisco is the author of “Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers: A Kidney Doctor’s Search for the Perfect Match,” published in 2017. Dr. Grubbs can also be viewed discussing her book before an audience of patients, professional, and innovation leaders AAKP has made available for free OnDemand.

Since 1969, The American Association of Kidney Patients has been a patient-led organization driving policy discussions on kidney patient care choice and medical innovation. Over the past decade, AAKP patient advocates have helped advance lifetime transplant drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients (2020); the presidential Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (2019); new job protections for living organ donors under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) via the U.S. Department of Labor (2018); and Congressional legislation allowing HIV-positive organ transplants for HIV-positive patients (2013). Follow AAKP on social media at @kidneypatient on Facebook, @kidneypatients on X, and @kidneypatients on Instagram, and visit www.aakp.org for more information.

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