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An update from ASN Executive Vice President Tod Ibrahim on engaging future members of the kidney care team and scientists and advancing kidney health and research.

With increasing uncertainties around variants of the COVID-19 virus, Kidney Week 2021 will now be a fully virtual meeting. Kidney Week is the world’s largest and most dynamic meeting of kidney professionals, where participants share their work, learn about the latest advances in the field, develop new collaborations, and listen to provocative exchanges between leading experts.

If it were not for the willingness of nephrology nurses to meet patients where they are—to educate people day in and day out about how to manage their own care, to approach complex challenges with thoughtfulness and creativity—our kidney care teams would not succeed.  

In a recent letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), ASN submitted comments on a proposed rule concerning the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, and End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) Model.  

Nephrology fellows recently completed a week-long summer course on renal physiology held at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories in Maine. Named the National Course for Renal Fellows: Origins of Renal Physiology, the course has been offered for 15 years and has proved valuable in helping fellows gain a deeper understanding of concepts of physiological homeostasis.  

In a joint statement, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) commended the NKF-ASN Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases for submitting its final report for publication. 

This year’s Kidney Week Education Committee and ASN staff are planning the first-ever hybrid Kidney Week to include in-person and virtual components. “Hybrid” can mean different things to different people, and ASN’s goal is to ensure a meaningful experience for every participant.  

ASN applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for amending the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, including kidney transplant recipients. 

ASN’s annual Board Review Course & Update (BRCU) is an important educational activity for fellows preparing for initial board certification, reaching approximately 400 in-person/live learners and 400 online learners annually in a "normal" year. Due to the uncertainties and challenges relative to COVID-19, the BRCU 2020 in-person event was cancelled, and BRCU 2021 was offered for the first time as a fully virtual event.

Given that hospital rankings may present limited information and fail to adequately assess relevant factors (such as social determinants of health, health disparities, and health inequities), this guide offers some context about how they are calculated, as well as their transparency, comprehensiveness, utility, and limits.  Also included is a list kidney disease resources for patients and family members.