The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is partnering with the nonprofit The American Kidney Fund (AKF) to help Veterans diagnosed with kidney disease live healthier lives.
The VA-AKF collaboration augments existing VA programs and services that support Veterans through early identification of kidney disease and referral for appropriate treatment.
“Our goal is to ensure our Veterans are aware of the resources needed to understand, manage and help treat kidney disease,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This alliance improves Veterans’ access to kidney disease resources, programs and support, and provides information on VA benefits to those diagnosed with or who are at risk for developing the disease.”
Additionally, Veterans will have access to webinars, awareness campaigns and events to increase their consciousness of risk factors, causes, complications and treatments of kidney disease and associated conditions.
The prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the Veteran population is higher than in the general population. Kidney disease affects about 1 in 6 Veterans, including more than 40,000 VA-enrolled Veterans who are diagnosed with kidney failure, known as end stage renal disease, who rely on dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
VA employs more than 200 nephrologists who specialize in the care of patients with kidney disease and has a comprehensive research portfolio aimed at preventing and improving the treatment of chronic kidney disease. Through the partnership with AKF, VA will also share publicly available data with AKF for clinical research.
“By working together, AKF and VA will leverage each other’s strengths to address the unique challenges Veterans face in managing their kidney health,” said LaVarne Burton, AKF president and CEO. “Through providing educational materials and programs from prevention through transplant, we aim to improve the quality of life for the thousands of Veterans at risk for or living with kidney disease.”
AKF, founded in 1971, works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, to provide programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy.
For more information on this or other partnerships, contact VA’s Office of Community Engagement.