Over its nearly 60-year history, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has approached the tripartite mission in phases, starting first with providing medical education, then advocating for research and innovation, and more recently, ensuring high-quality patient care. ASN's mission is to “elevate care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world (1).
Today, patient care is the tabletop, with education (undergraduate/graduate and continuing), research, and advocacy as the supporting legs. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the joints that lock aprons (health care justice) to the legs, strengthening the table. As such, the first goal of the current ASN Strategic Plan emphasizes the need to advance the work of kidney medicine. More specifically, this goal requires ASN to commit to “creating a stronger focus on kidney health”; “intervening earlier to prevent, diagnose, coordinate care, and educate”; and “developing broad partnerships to address the health of the global population, promoting health equity, and advocating for high-quality therapies, including home dialysis and transplant.”
While having a mission and articulating goals are important, the significance of strategic plans is identifying opportunities and challenges honestly, setting priorities ruthlessly, and completing projects meaningfully. The current ASN Strategic Plan went into effect on January 1, 2021, making this a good time to assess progress in accomplishing the first goal.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Heart-healthy. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heart-healthy#h1
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Quaggin SE. ASN President's Update: Closing the gap—time for a kidney health check. Kidney News, April 2022; 14(4):8–9. https://www.kidneynews.org/view/journals/kidney-news/14/4/article-p8_4.xml?rskey=BXasaY&result=1
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American Society of Nephrology. Augmented Intelligence and Digital Health Task Force. https://www.asn-online.org/about/committees/committee.aspx?panel=AIDH
American Society of Nephrology. Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (NTDS). https://epc.asn-online.org/projects/ntds/
American Society of Nephrology. Current and Emerging Threats (CET). https://epc.asn-online.org/projects/current-and-emerging-threats/
American Society of Nephrology. Human Factors. https://epc.asn-online.org/projects/human-factors/
American Society of Nephrology. Quality Assessment, Improvement, Education (QAIE). https://epc.asn-online.org/projects/quality-assessment-improvement-education/
American Society of Nephrology. Project Firstline. https://epc.asn-online.org/projects/project-firstline/
Cockwell P, Fisher L-A. The global burden of chronic kidney disease. Lancet 2020; 395: 662–664. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32977-0