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To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

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ASN Society News - December 14, 2021

Two Years of Accomplishments from A to Z

For the past two years, ASN and the broader ASN Alliance for Kidney Health have continued to accomplish an ambitious agenda. Directed by a new strategic plan, this focus, drive, and momentum will continue in 2022 and beyond.

Before highlighting 26 of these accomplishments, I commend ASN's members for continuing to support the society throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and volunteer leaders for their time and guidance. I'd also like to thank the ASN staff for maintaining extraordinary standards for excellence despite working remotely and trying to balance work and life in an upside-down world.

Together, the membership, leaders, and staff have produced amazing results, including:

  • ASN Kidney Week took place virtually in 2020 and 2021. Both meetings were hugely successful, and the virtual platform accelerated innovations, such as topical and community discussions.
  • The ASN Board Review Course and Update was virtual in 2021. This experience will improve future exchanges between participants and faculty, including "office hours," regardless of venue.
  • The kidney community's response to COVID-19 is remarkable. ASN partnered with stakeholders (government agencies, other specialties, like the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the chief medical officers of dialysis organizations) to share best practices, new approaches, and data. Successful advocacy resulted in the Network Administrator Model for vaccine distribution to dialysis patients and approval of a third vaccine dose for people with kidney diseases.
  • Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (a partnership between ASN and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) continued to produce webinars and other resources in its quest to enhance quality of life for people with kidney failure.
  • ASN's commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion expanded considerably. During the past two years, ASN:
    • Committed $2.7 million to launch the ASN Loan Mitigation Pilot Program.
    • Formed the ASN Health Care Justice Committee.
    • Was selected to participate in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-Council of Medical Specialty Societies antiracism initiative.
    • Issued an unequivocable statement on identifying, confronting, and addressing systemic racism.
  • ASN advocated for increased public and private funding for kidney research, and KidneyCure supported 71 nephrology fellows and early-career scientists in 2020 and 2021. KidneyX (a partnership between ASN and the US Department of Health and Human Services) funded more than 60 innovators.
  • Committed to worldwide collaboration, ASN helped publish "The State of the Global Nephrology Workforce: A Joint ASN/European Renal Association/International Society of Nephrology Investigation."
  • ASN advocated for home dialysis through the Healthcare Innovation Coalition, Improving Access to Home Dialysis Act, International Home Dialysis Roundtable, and ASN Home Dialysis Task Force.
  • The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Patients Act became law after decades of advocacy by ASN.
  • ASN earned "Joint Accreditation" to provide continuing education credits, a rare achievement among specialty societies.
  • ASN unveiled its newest journal—Kidney360—and revamped Kidney News Online.
  • The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Kidney360 published new literature about the SARS-CoV-2 virus—while ASN Kidney News introduced a new Editor-in-Chief.
  • ASN worked closely with the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to establish the Kidney Care Choices payment model, designed to slow disease progression and incentivize kidney transplantation, and the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices model, intended to provide people with kidney failure a greater array of treatment choices.
  • The National Kidney Foundation-ASN Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases released interim and final reports, recommending new equations to estimate kidney function that do not include race.
  • The Organ Procurement Organizations Conditions for Coverage final rule, which ASN supported, will apply new standards of accountability to the transplant waitlist and reduce financial restrictions for transplant recipients.
  • The Kidney Health Initiative (a partnership among ASN, the US Food and Drug Administration, and more than 100 member organizations) advanced regulatory science through a Patient and Family Partnership Council, CJASN added Patient Voice Editors, and the ASN Kidney Week Education Committee now includes a patient member.
  • Besides serving on the ASN Council during the pandemic, Susan E. Quaggin, MD, FASN, and Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN, will serve as ASN President and Past President, respectively, for two years, while David H. Ellison, MD, FASN, became the first at-large councilor to complete a four-year term under the new bylaws.
  • ASN reinvented nephSAP and the ASN eLearning Center.
  • Through the Emergency Partnership Initiative, ASN responded to winter and tropical storms, hurricanes, volcanic activity, and earthquakes.
  • The ASN Task Force on Academic Nephrologist Compensation and Productivity is analyzing transplant nephrologist compensation models to inform improvements and advancements to reflect comprehensive patient care.
  • The United 4 Kidney Health Campaign is promoting nephrology as a specialty that embraces early intervention, transplantation, innovation, equity, and patient choice.
  • After helping expand telehealth services, ASN is advocating to permanently remove geographic and site restrictions, ensure payment parity when video is not available, protect advances in supervision and licensing requirements, and prevent reliance on outdated fee-for-service rules.
  • The Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative, AKI!Now, and KHI use workgroups to produce outcomes that will improve kidney care.
  • KidneyX funded xenotransplantation approaches alongside other advances towards an artificial kidney, emblematic of progress in kidney medicine.
  • Born between 1981 and 1986, Generation Y were 25- to 40-year-olds this year. ASN and KidneyCure spend more than $4 million annually on programs for medical and PhD students, residents, fellows, other trainees, and early-career professionals.
  • Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx. Enough said.

In closing, I'd like to recognize Barbara T. Murphy, MD, MB, BAO, BCh, FRCPI, who died on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. The only person ever elected President of both ASN and the American Society of Transplantation, Dr. Murphy should have become ASN President on Saturday, January 1, 2022. Instead, we will forever recognize the many ways she advanced nephrology and ASN through the new Murphy (Trailblazer) Award and Murphy Endowed Lecture.

In a time of tremendous challenges, the kidney community is dynamic, continuing to bring us closer to "a world without kidney diseases."


Tod Ibrahim
Executive Vice President