By Lesa-Kaye Holtham, MPH – Government Grants Director, National Kidney Foundation
Public health is defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals. Partnerships, coalitions, and collaborations formed through shared interest are necessary for to address any public health problem. As the largest, most effective and longstanding organization, in the United States, fighting kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) connects communities of kidney patients and their families, policy makers, healthcare professionals, academic research institutions and other stakeholders. NKF’s 37 Field Offices are integral to organization’s mission. NKF’s local offices lead the charge in increasing awareness about kidney disease through action, education, and accelerating change that improves kidney health in communities across the country.
During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW) as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. One of this year’s themes – healthy communities- reinforces that an individual’s health, longevity and well-being are connected to their community, the places they live, learn, work, and play. In recognition of NPHW and its focus on healthy communities, we are pleased to bring a series of blog posts of how NKF’s offices across the country are leading the charge for kidney health action in local communities through both formal and informal partnerships. This week’s blog posts will feature four (4) of NKF’s local offices (Serving: Greater New York, Texas, New England, and Southern California/Nevada) to highlight our focus on reaching communities, particularly those at highest risk for kidney disease, as well as working across sectors and non-traditional partnerships.
Through the Leading the Charge for Kidney Health blog series, we are proud to feature NKF’s local offices to further highlight the importance of their work in bringing the organization’s mission to communities as well as serving as catalysts for collective action that improves kidney health for all.
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 Shortell SM, Zukoski AP, Alexander A, et al. 2002. Evaluating partnerships for community health improvement: Tracking the footprints. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 1: 49–91.
I am fighting for my life with a Fresenius corporation everyday and becoming an advocate has given me very little support so far.