Update released from ASN President Anupam Agarwal to all ASN members regarding COVID-19

By ASN Staff

March 20, 2020

asn logo small_0.jpgOn Friday, March 20, ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN issued an email to all ASN members addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and how ASN is responding.

He began, “as the president of a society headquartered in the United States, I must acknowledge the deep debt we owe to our colleagues in other countries. Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom in treating patients affected by Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) as well as for providing advice on how to manage the unprecedented strains this pandemic is adding to our health care systems. Your focus, dedication, and spirit of collaboration exemplifies the essence of medicine.”

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic may worsen in many regions, including the United States. ASN commits to doing everything we can to help our members and the rest of the kidney community care for people with kidney diseases and adjust to this new reality. Please review the resources and actions we have already taken, share this information with anyone who might benefit, and provide your insights and advice to us at covid19@asn-online.org.”


Current Resources and Actions

Convening the ASN COVID-19 Response Team

"The ASN COVID-19 Response Team includes nephrologists, key stakeholders in kidney care, and other leaders who have worked together during previous disasters. This group, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is focused on identifying emerging and ongoing concerns that affect people with kidney diseases during this pandemic, working with key stakeholders to ensure unified strategies and tactics, and recommending approaches to resolve or improve each of the many challenges we now face.

I encourage you to review the incredible range of resources this team is creating, curating, and collating to help you meet this crisis, including the first webinar in a series that ASN is producing. In this webinar, CDC described new recommendations for dialysis care.”

Making the Case for Patients and Kidney Health Professionals

"On Wednesday, March 18, I, along with leaders of 15 other societies, met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and members of the US Coronavirus Task Force to convey the concerns of the kidney community and the unique needs of people with kidney diseases. During the meeting, I:

  • Expressed ASN's commitment to working with the vice president and his task force, our partners within the federal agencies, and members of Congress and their staff to ensure that the unique needs of kidney patients are met in this time of crisis.
  • Explained to the White House that testing and personal protective equipment shortages are felt acutely by our patients and health care professionals.
  • Urged the US government to prioritize transplant and dialysis patients for COVID-19 testing, in order to mitigate the spread of the disease to large numbers of vulnerable individuals.
  • Thanked the US government for expanding telehealth coverage.
     
ASN has ongoing partnerships with CDC (Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety), the US Food and Drug Administration (Kidney Health Initiative), and the US Department of Health and Human Services (KidneyX). ASN staff are working daily with these key partners, members of Congress and their staff, and other stakeholders to keep them informed of emerging challenges in kidney care, and of ways each can help support your vital work. This letter to HHS Secretary Azar provides an overview of issues we are advocating for on behalf of your patients, your teams, and yourselves."
 

Committing to the Long Haul

"We know this crisis will not resolve in a matter of weeks. The members of ASN Council, all the society's volunteer leaders, and the entire ASN staff are fully focused on supporting you—and helping create the changes you need—for the duration of this crisis and beyond. We will continue to update you regularly, create and update resources that may be useful to you, and act on your suggestions for further action.
 
Let us know when you encounter new challenges, or when unresolved concerns interfere with your ability to provide care, conduct research, or teach the next generation. We are here to help."
 

"Dr. Agarwal closed the statement by stating, “finally, several ASN members have asked me about the society's activities planned for later this year. We've suspended all ASN-related travel through at least Friday, May 15. The ASN leadership and staff are closely monitoring all COVID-19 developments, and we are committed to placing your health and safety first. We pledge to approach these issues professionally, thoughtfully, and directly, and to keep the community informed. At this time, ASN plans to hold activities after May 15 as scheduled, but we realize that this situation is constantly changing.

Thank you for meeting this crisis head on, and for exemplifying the dedication, resolve, and higher purpose that is a hallmark of all health professionals."
 
Category:
Subcategory:
Author:
ASN Staff
Body:

asn logo small_0.jpgOn Friday, March 20, ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN issued an email to all ASN members addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and how ASN is responding.

He began, “as the president of a society headquartered in the United States, I must acknowledge the deep debt we owe to our colleagues in other countries. Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom in treating patients affected by Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) as well as for providing advice on how to manage the unprecedented strains this pandemic is adding to our health care systems. Your focus, dedication, and spirit of collaboration exemplifies the essence of medicine.”

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic may worsen in many regions, including the United States. ASN commits to doing everything we can to help our members and the rest of the kidney community care for people with kidney diseases and adjust to this new reality. Please review the resources and actions we have already taken, share this information with anyone who might benefit, and provide your insights and advice to us at covid19@asn-online.org.”


Current Resources and Actions

Convening the ASN COVID-19 Response Team

"The ASN COVID-19 Response Team includes nephrologists, key stakeholders in kidney care, and other leaders who have worked together during previous disasters. This group, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is focused on identifying emerging and ongoing concerns that affect people with kidney diseases during this pandemic, working with key stakeholders to ensure unified strategies and tactics, and recommending approaches to resolve or improve each of the many challenges we now face.

I encourage you to review the incredible range of resources this team is creating, curating, and collating to help you meet this crisis, including the first webinar in a series that ASN is producing. In this webinar, CDC described new recommendations for dialysis care.”

Making the Case for Patients and Kidney Health Professionals

"On Wednesday, March 18, I, along with leaders of 15 other societies, met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and members of the US Coronavirus Task Force to convey the concerns of the kidney community and the unique needs of people with kidney diseases. During the meeting, I:

  • Expressed ASN's commitment to working with the vice president and his task force, our partners within the federal agencies, and members of Congress and their staff to ensure that the unique needs of kidney patients are met in this time of crisis.
  • Explained to the White House that testing and personal protective equipment shortages are felt acutely by our patients and health care professionals.
  • Urged the US government to prioritize transplant and dialysis patients for COVID-19 testing, in order to mitigate the spread of the disease to large numbers of vulnerable individuals.
  • Thanked the US government for expanding telehealth coverage.
     
ASN has ongoing partnerships with CDC (Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety), the US Food and Drug Administration (Kidney Health Initiative), and the US Department of Health and Human Services (KidneyX). ASN staff are working daily with these key partners, members of Congress and their staff, and other stakeholders to keep them informed of emerging challenges in kidney care, and of ways each can help support your vital work. This letter to HHS Secretary Azar provides an overview of issues we are advocating for on behalf of your patients, your teams, and yourselves."
 

Committing to the Long Haul

"We know this crisis will not resolve in a matter of weeks. The members of ASN Council, all the society's volunteer leaders, and the entire ASN staff are fully focused on supporting you—and helping create the changes you need—for the duration of this crisis and beyond. We will continue to update you regularly, create and update resources that may be useful to you, and act on your suggestions for further action.
 
Let us know when you encounter new challenges, or when unresolved concerns interfere with your ability to provide care, conduct research, or teach the next generation. We are here to help."
 

"Dr. Agarwal closed the statement by stating, “finally, several ASN members have asked me about the society's activities planned for later this year. We've suspended all ASN-related travel through at least Friday, May 15. The ASN leadership and staff are closely monitoring all COVID-19 developments, and we are committed to placing your health and safety first. We pledge to approach these issues professionally, thoughtfully, and directly, and to keep the community informed. At this time, ASN plans to hold activities after May 15 as scheduled, but we realize that this situation is constantly changing.

Thank you for meeting this crisis head on, and for exemplifying the dedication, resolve, and higher purpose that is a hallmark of all health professionals."
 
Area(s) of Interest:
Date:
Friday, March 20, 2020