September 15, 2004 Contact: Janet D'Alesandro • (856) firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nephrology Nurses Educate Lawmakers During National ‘ESRD Day’ Congress steers the government’s end stage renal disease (ESRD) Medicare policies. To boost lawmakers’ understanding, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) invited them to visit dialysis units in their home districts. Pitman, NJ – Congressional delegations across the country have been visiting their local dialysis units recently as part of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) national “ESRD Education Day” campaign. ANNA designated August 13, 2004 as the official “ESRD Day” for visits, however lawmakers are visiting units through October and until the end of the year as their schedules allow. As of mid-September, 97 members of Congress and state legislators and/or their aides have been educated about ESRD by ANNA members in 30 states. 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 effort to educate legislators and their staff members about the needs of patients with ESRD, according to Kathy Kuchta, BSN, RN, 2004 project coordinator. During the tours this year, which was the second year ANNA sponsored the event, Kuchta said legislators received information about the ESRD Modernization Act (S. 2614 and H.R. 4927) and were asked to support these bills. The lawmakers were also asked to support the Nurse Reinvestment Act. During their visits, lawmakers met with dialysis constituents and members of the health care team in each facility. Nurses described daily operations, outlined the role of nurses and technicians, discussed kidney disease and treatment, and provided information regarding the number of dialysis units and number of patients served in the legislators’ districts. Legislators also received ANNA’s ESRD Briefing Book for State and Federal Policymakers (available to the public at www.annanurse.org). 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.