Advocacy

Our Approach

We engage policymakers, organizations and the kidney community in the Pacific Northwest to advocate for policies that remove barriers to care, improve care coordination, and supports innovation within kidney care. With support from elected officials and the community, we can reduce kidney disease diagnoses, improve patient outcomes and pioneer new research that will inform best practices and innovative treatment methods for future generations. Through intervention and education, we can prolong the existence of kidney function. 

Ensure patients have access to safe, high-quality care

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Educate policymakers on the systemic, economic, and personal challenges people with kidney disease face

Protect patient choice and the ability to use need-based financial programs

Your Voice in Olympia & Salem

As an advocacy organization, the Northwest Kidney Council routinely engages in legislative discussions in Oregon and Washington on issues that impact our kidney community.

As we approach the 2023 session in Washington and Oregon, the Council will be actively monitoring and advocating for policies to benefit the kidney community.

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Key Issues

Access to Care

Ensuring access to care is central to the Northwest Kidney Council's mission. With support from elected officials and the community, we can reduce kidney disease diagnoses, improve patient outcomes and pioneer new research that will inform best practices and innovative treatment methods for future generations. Through intervention and education, we can prolong the existence of kidney function.

Health Equity
Health equity is commonly understood to mean that every person has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Health equity is a critical concept that should be the foundation of all healthcare policy. Like other chronic diseases, kidney disease has a disproportionate impact on low-income and BIPOC individuals. Incorporating health equity into our health policy decisions will help ensure that no one is left behind as we work to overcome conditions like chronic kidney disease.

 

Education + Prevention
The Northwest Kidney Council is an advocate for chronic kidney disease educational programming in federal, state and local community health initiatives. For many, the risk of developing kidney disease is not because of any single reason, but due to several physical, environmental, and social factors. Awareness of kidney disease and the risk factors for kidney disease are an important part of mitigating its effects and avoiding end-stage renal disease.

 

Workforce
The kidney disease community relies on a robust healthcare workforce to access necessary care, including dialysis technicians, nephrologists, nurses, nutritionists and surgeons. The health care industry is facing a scarcity of caregivers in every sector. A prolonged and growing shortage of caregivers could lead to major gaps in necessary care for the kidney disease community and the chronic disease community. The Northwest Kidney Council advocates for policies that will encourage professionals to pursue a career in the medical field.

 

Transportation
Dialysis treatment causes the dialysis recipient to become very drowsy. Because of this possible effect, it can be dangerous for someone who has received dialysis treatment to drive themselves to and from the location. Therefore, Kidney Community members who receive care at clinics often rely on a variety of transportation systems. 

The Northwest Kidney Council is an advocate for safe, reliable, and affordable transportation options for all to reach their centers of care. 

Access to Transplants
For some who have kidney disease, kidney transplantation is a treatment option. When you receive a transplant, a healthy kidney is placed inside your body to do the work your own kidneys can no longer do. Many people feel that a kidney transplant offers more freedom and a better quality of life than dialysis.

Northwest Kidney Council advocates for policies that increase access to this life-changing treatment to support kidney donors throughout the kidney donation process and after the procedure. This can include increased protections to sick leave and insurance for the donor.

Access to Home Dialysis
For many in the kidney disease community, at-home dialysis is a great option for treatment. After receiving training on how to administer dialysis at home they are better able to fit treatments into your daily schedule. Studies show that the more an individual knows about their treatment and the more they do on their own, the better they are likely to do on dialysis.

 

Northwest Kidney Council advocates for policies that promote greater access to at-home dialysis care including expanding the caregiver workforce and increased insurance coverage of home hemodialysis.

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