Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, the newly installed president of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), says she looks forward to spearheading the organization’s efforts to increase living kidney donation, promote earlier detection of kidney disease, and improve the lives of patients on dialysis.

The number of living kidney transplants has remained stagnant and is not keeping pace with the growing numbers of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) seeking a donor kidney, said Dr Kramer, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.

Identifying ways to increase living kidney donation should be a research priority, she said. Greater use of various social media networks to reach people is among the possible strategies.

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“It seems like we could do a much better job of getting the word out about living kidney donation,” Dr Kramer told Renal & Urology News.

Dr Kramer emphasized the importance of earlier diagnosis of kidney disease, a key mission of the NKF. “Even if a patient has very advanced kidney disease, you can really delay dialysis for at least a year or 2 years or more with really good medical management,” said Dr Kramer, who has been a member of the NKF’s Scientific Advisory Board and has served as vice chair of NKF’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI) Controversies and Commentaries.

In an NKF press release, immediate past-president Michael J. Choi, MD, stated: “Dr. Kramer’s distinguished professional achievements in the area of kidney health, her substantial service to the NKF, her dedication and compassion to patients with kidney disease, and her commitment to advancing public awareness of kidney disease will advance our mission to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease. I eagerly look forward to her impact on the NKF with her research expertise, passion for patient care and leadership.”