June 3, 2020 — On the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, our country is facing yet another crisis of senseless racial violence across America. The recent, tragic death of George Floyd continues to evidence the extreme racial disparities faced by the African American community. As a nation and as a nonprofit organization we cannot condone acts of racism and violence.
The global pandemic has disrupted our lives in many ways. And that disruption has disproportionately affected communities of color with higher death rates and lack of access to healthcare. For our part, the NKFM is fighting for affordable healthcare for all, access to medication, patient choice, access to transplantation and home dialysis. Yet, COVID-19 has given us the opportunity, and the imperative, to accelerate our support for minority communities.
At the policy level, we are advocating for the federal government to provide quality, disaggregated data on all tests, hospitalizations, discharges and deaths from COVID-19 so we fully understand the scope of the impact on minority communities; ensure priority testing, contact tracing, vaccination, and funding to high-risk and minority communities and kidney patients; support long-term investments in public health infrastructure in traditionally under-served communities; and increase funding for kidney research and targeted awareness.
While this work is incredibly important, it alone cannot possibly solve every problem of racial disparity facing the African American community, or in any community of color. But it can make progress towards addressing the healthcare disparities, which continue to serve as a catalyst for disenfranchisement among minority communities. Together, we must continue to do the work that is tangible, results-focused and lifesaving.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and more than 90 percent are unaware they have it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).
About the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
The mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it. With more than a million people in Michigan affected by kidney disease, the NKFM works to provide life-changing programs and services across the state. For the past 12 years, Charity Navigator — the nation’s leading nonprofit evaluator — has recognized the NKFM with its highest rating of 4 stars for success in sound fiscal management. nkfm.org