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Ray Bignall II

Children are our future, and the year ahead in pediatric nephrology holds tremendous promise to advance healthcare for children with kidney diseases. The pediatric nephrology community has been hard at work championing the innovations and advocating for the change necessary to make a brighter future a reality for children with kidney diseases, their families, and those who care for them. With so many exciting advances across the spectrum of pediatric kidney care, here are a few of the areas to follow closely in 2021.

Neonatal nephrology—the nascent field is now full term

There is growing appreciation for the role of

Ray Bignall II

In November 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lumasiran (brand name “Oxlumo”), the first medical therapy specifically for the management of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1), a rare and life-threatening disease that often progresses to kidney failure. This announcement may represent a breakthrough, not only in the treatment of PH1 but also in drug development for a host of rare kidney diseases.

PH1 is caused by a congenital defect in the hepatic enzyme alanine glyoxylate aminotransferase, resulting in a failure to metabolize glyoxylate to glycine and the toxic accumulation of oxalate. The buildup of unmetabolized oxalate leads

O. N. Ray Bignall II

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is reinforcing what those of us in kidney care have been experiencing for years: There is too much focus on kidney failure rather than kidney health.

The COVID-19 pandemic put even more urgency on kidney health, as well as its disparities in diagnosis and treatment. In order to move from kidney disease to kidney health, ASN created a roadmap and rallying cry to mobilize the kidney care community and work toward a world without kidney diseases by embracing four priorities:

Intervene Earlier to prevent, diagnose, treat, coordinate care, and educate.

Transform Transplant

O. N. Ray Bignall II

You would be hard pressed to find a more capable, resilient, and diverse team of heroes than today's kidney health care workforce. From physicians and nurses to technicians and therapists…from researchers to clinicians to administrative professionals…our field is replete with talented individuals who bring their “all” to achieve equitable, high-quality patient care for the millions of those living with kidney diseases worldwide.

This issue of Kidney News is special, because in it, we are highlighting a key ingredient to achieving equitable, high-quality care for children and adults with kidney diseases: our diversity. We acknowledge the ongoing imperative to

Dr O N Ray Bignall II

Bignall Headshot_0.jpgThis past week, I had the privilege of attending a panel discussion on health in the African American community hosted by my local church. Black community health professionals shared insightful advice, promoting health-seeking behavior in communities of color. Yet, when it was time for audience questions, the program took an unexpected turn: person after person lined up to share stories of mistreatment and disregard at the hands of medical professionals. It was painful to hear how little my community trusted health professionals like me to be a part of their healing.