4/29/04 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association to Educate Legislators on August 13 'ESRD Day'

April 29, 2004

Contact: Janet D'Alesandro • (856) 256-2422



American Nephrology Nurses’ Association

to Educate Legislators on August 13 ‘ESRD Day’

PITMAN, NJ – Legislators across the country are beginning to understand kidney disease like never before, thanks to a national campaign by the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA).

ANNA has designated August 13, 2004 as national ESRD Education Day and is inviting Congressional delegations across the country to visit their local dialysis units. Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment that the legislators’ constituents receive as Medicare beneficiaries under the government’s end stage renal disease (ESRD) reimbursement program.

ESRD Day is part of a continuing national effort to educate legislators and their staff members about the needs of patients with ESRD, according to Kathy Kuchta, BSN, RN, 2004 project coordinator. Although August 13 is the designated day, Kuchta said "ANNA organizers are flexible and will accommodate any legislator who wants to visit a dialysis unit in their district anytime during the year."

During the tours, nurses will describe daily operations of the unit, outline the role of nurses and technicians, discuss kidney disease and treatment, and provide information regarding the number of dialysis units and number of patients served in the legislators’ districts. In addition, nurses will educate the lawmakers about the effects of the nursing shortage and other challenges facing the renal community.

"With the overwhelming response to ESRD Day last year, we knew that it was a landmark project that should be conducted annually, not just for the national legislators, but for those in state governments as well," said ANNA President Lesley C. Dinwiddie, MSN, RN, FNP, CNN. "The more we can educate all legislators about our patients’ experiences by showing them a fully-functioning dialysis unit, the better prepared they are to make decisions with regard to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement."

To supplement the tour, legislators will also receive ANNA’s ESRD Briefing Book for State and Federal Policymakers. The booklet presents in lay terms the basics of ESRD and includes information on underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Statistics on incidence and treatment costs are also presented.

For more information on ESRD Day or to download the ESRD booklet, visit ANNA’s Web site, www.annanurse.org.

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ANNA is a professional association comprised of more than 11,000 nephrology nurses. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney or other disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.