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Hot Topics in Kidney Health
47 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Creating an inclusive and affirming environment for LGBTQ+ kidney patients
For many in the LGBTQ+ community, fear of discrimination and harassment can get in the way of seeking medical care when they are sick and can put them at increased risk of serious health problems, including kidney disease. In this episode, we discussed how to create an inclusive and affirming environment in a healthcare setting with Dr. Dinushika Mohottige and Dr. Mitchell R. Lunn, two experts in sexual and gender minority health, as well as living kidney donor and the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history, Rep. Brian Sims. In this episode, you will hear from: Dinushika Mohottige, MD, MPH: Dr. Mohottige is a Nephrologist and Medical Instructor in the Division of Nephrology at Duke University Hospitals. She received a B.A. in Public Policy and a Health Policy Certificate from Duke University in 2006, where she was a Robertson Scholar. She then earned an MPH in Health Behavior/Health Education from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, followed by Internal Medicine and Nephrology training at Duke University. She now works under the mentorship of Dr. Ebony Boulware and Dr. Clarissa Diamantidis to engage in patient and community-centered, inequity-focused research around the impact of socio-structural factors on kidney health and kidney transplantation. Mitchell R. Lunn, MD, MAS, FACP, FASN: Dr. Lunn is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. As an internist and nephrologist with a strong interest in technology and sexual and gender minority health, Mitch’s research is designed to characterize the health and well-being of these populations. Mitch is the co-director of PRIDEnet, a participant-powered research network of SGM people that engages SGM communities at all stages of the biomedical research process: research question generation and prioritization, study design, recruitment, participation, data analysis, and results dissemination. He currently serves on the American Society of Nephrology’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. PA State Representative Brian Sims: Brian Sims is a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd district. Elected in 2012, Sims is also a lawyer and activist on LGBTQ+ civil rights. Sims is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history. In January of 2020, he donated his kidney to his friend. He has been vocal about supporting organ and tissue donation. Currently, he is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2022 election.
18 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
What the new CDC masking guidance means for kidney patients
The CDC's new masking guidance says fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks, but does that include kidney patients? Are people who are immune comprised fully protected by the vaccine? We have collected some of our patients’ most pressing questions about the new masking guidance and have asked Dr. Joe Vassalotti, NKF Chief Medical Officer, to answer them. We answer the following questions: Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have kidney disease? Should I go to the doctor to determine if I have developed antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine? If I don’t develop antibodies after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, should I get another one? I am a transplant recipient. Will the vaccine protect me if I get COVID-19, even if it’s only 50% effective? I am a dialysis recipient. Will the vaccine protect me if I get COVID-19, even if it’s only 50% effective? I’m a transplant patient. Does my family need to continue wearing a mask around me and others? Is it safe for a transplant or dialysis patient to work in an office without a mask with a coworker who is not vaccinated and won’t wear a mask? I am immunosuppressed and vaccinated, but my grandson is not. Should I continue wearing a mask around him? Is it safe for fully vaccinated family members to be around transplant and dialysis patients without a mask? If someone already had COVID-19 do they need two doses of the vaccine? If a transplant or dialysis patient did not get second shot in time, can they start the process over? Did the new masking guidelines from the CDC create a false sense of security? What should kidney patients do if they get COVID-19? In this episode, you will hear from: Joseph A. Vassalotti, MD: Nephrologist Joseph A. Vassalotti, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY. He received his medical degree with Distinction in Research from the SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine and completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. At NKF, his major focus is implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in chronic kidney disease (CKD), including the NKF’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI), particularly through guidance of the NKF’s primary care initiative, called CKDintercept. He has served as co-principal investigator for the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), demonstration project “CKD Health Evaluation and Risk Information Sharing” (CHERISH), which aimed to identify individuals at high risk for kidney disease in the U.S. and as an investigator for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored clustered practice randomized trial entitled, “Evidenced-Based Primary Care for Kidney Disease.” For more resources on COVID-19 for kidney patients, visit www.kidney.org/coronavirus
32 minutes | May 28, 2021
Coping with depression & anxiety during a global pandemic
Depression and anxiety affect many Americans but they are especially common in those with chronic illness like kidney disease. How has depression and/or anxiety affected you during your journey with kidney disease? We spoke with Tracey Doss-Simmons, LMSW, an outpatient social worker at a dialysis center in Michigan, and two dialysis patients, Ellyne and Sean, to get their insight.
25 minutes | May 18, 2021
New way to get involved in research for kidney patients
In this episode, we talk about the NKF Patient Network, an online registry for kidney patients at any stage of kidney disease. This network is an exciting new and easy way to for patients to be part of the effort to improve the lives of people affected by kidney disease everywhere. In this episode, you will hear from: Dr. Kerry Willis: Dr. Kerry Willis is Chief Scientific Officer at the National Kidney Foundation and co-developer of the Patient Network. Dr. Willis received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from New York University Medical Center and has been with NKF since 1998. She founded NKF's Medical Activities division and made it a priority to identify and apply the best science available to improve kidney disease patient care and outcomes. Dr. Lesley Inker: Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS is a nephrologist who serves as Director of the Kidney and Blood Pressure Center and Director of the Kidney Function and Evaluation Center at Tufts Medical Center. She is also chair of the NKF Patient Network Steering Committee. Dr. Inker’s research has established her as an expert in the implementation of estimated glomerular filtration rate by clinical laboratories, as well as an expert in estimating and measuring kidney function. Dr. Alex Chang: Dr. Alexander Chang is a nephrologist, assistant professor of Clinical Research and co-director of the Kidney Health Research Institute at Geisinger. He is engaged in research dedicated to preventing and delaying CKD progression and its complications. His research areas include interventional studies focused on improving lifestyle behaviors in patients with hypertension and patients with early CKD; using observational data from Geisinger and other large cohorts to identify potential avenues to improve management of CKD and hypertension; and health system interventions to improve early recognition and optimized management of early kidney disease. Dr. Alex Chang also serves as NKF Patient Network PI for Geisinger site. Curtis Warfield: Curtis Warfield is a kidney patient and patient stakeholder on the Patient Network Advisory Committee. In 2012 he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) due to FSGS. In 2016, he received a kidney from his daughter’s college sorority sister. Curtis, a passionate advocate for CKD, organ donation and living donors provides peer counseling with the NKF Peer Program. He also serves as member of NKF’s Kidney Advocacy Committee, where he advocates with members of Congress for kidney and organ donor issues. Cari Maxwell: Cari Maxwell is a kidney patient and patient stakeholder on the Patient Network Advisory Committee. She was diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease in 1989 and has been an active supporter of the National Kidney Foundation. She hopes that through her commitment to the awareness of chronic kidney diseases, others will take an active role in their health journey through early detection, healthy choices, and becoming a strong voice themselves in advocating for those that cannot. Learn more about the NKF Patient Network by visiting www.kidney.org/nkfpatientnetwork.
16 minutes | May 18, 2021
Is mobile health the way of the future?
In the COVID era, telehealth has become a suddenly normal part of our lives. How is this impacting kidney patients and what implications does it have for the future of kidney care? We sat down with researcher Dr. Sarah Schrauben to discuss her recently published article on Mobile Health Technology in NKF’s American Journal of Kidney Disease (AJKD). In this episode, you will hear from: Dr. Sarah Schrauben: Dr. Schrauben is a researcher and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the Division of Renal, Electrolyte, and Hypertension, and Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics at the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Schrauben's research focuses on the impact of health behaviors and modifiable risk factors in the development and management of chronic kidney disease and its complications, as well as addressing implementation gaps of evidence-based care in CKD. The episode is moderated by NKF patient advocate Jessica Washington. Jessica was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease in 2019. She has been extremely motivated to advocate for the National Kidney Foundation to help others fight for better understanding, awareness, support, and anything else she can do to make it easier for so many out there dealing with this disease. Learn more about Dr. Schrauben’s research by visiting www.kidney.org/newsletter/are-mobile-apps-wave-future-kidney-care.
44 minutes | May 18, 2021
The latest in COVID-19 vaccines for kidney patients
Many people are facing pandemic fatigue, but thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine the "new normal" may be right around the corner. We sat down during a recent Facebook Live event to answer patient questions about the vaccine and pandemic fatigue. In this episode, you will hear from: Dr. Frita Fisher: Dr. Frita is the founder and president of her own nephrology practice (Midtown Atlanta Nephrology, P.C.), and the medical director of a non-profit dialysis unit. She now spreads her medical knowledge as a medical expert commentator, and has appeared as a medical expert on shows such as 11 Alive News NBC, the Emmy Award Winning Paternity Court, and others. Her YouTube channel (Dr. Frita) has over 270,000 subscribers. Gary Petingola, MSW, RSW: Gary has received formal training with Dr. Jon Kabat- Zinn, founder of The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; the Centre for Mindfulness Ireland; the OMEGA Institute for Holistic Studies; Shambhala Mountain Center; the Harvard Medical School; and the Community for Mindful Living. Gary has recently published his first book titled The Response – Practicing Mindfulness In Your Daily Life. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines for kidney patients, visit www.kidney.org/coronavirus/vaccines-kidney-disease
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