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Entertainment icons urge you to be a hero

Jann Arden, Paul Brandt, and Russell Peters support organ donor registration

April 18, 2016 – Inspired by people they each know who have been directly affected by kidney failure, Canadian entertainment icons Jann Arden, Paul Brandt and Russell Peters encourage all Canadians to register to become organ donors in a new public service announcement released today by The Kidney Foundation of Canada for National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.

These stars share the grim facts about kidney failure and organ donation. Of the 4,500 Canadians on the transplant waiting list, more than 77% are waiting for a kidney. Recent statistics indicate 25% of the people who died while waiting for organs were waiting for a kidney — and the need for kidneys far exceeds the supply. The Kidney Foundation of Canada wants to change that, and is aiming to increase kidney transplant and organ donation by 50% by 2020.

"One of my best friends had a lung transplant and years later, a kidney transplant,” said Ms. Arden at the recent filming.  “She's alive today because of organ donors.  She was so happy to hear that I was doing this to help bring attention to the need for more donors." 

Registering only takes a few minutes through the various provincial registries. Although 90% of Canadians polled indicate they are willing to be organ and tissue donors, registry numbers don’t reflect that. One registered organ donor could help up to eight people.

“There is a desperate need for donated organs. By raising awareness, our goal is to reduce the wait times and help more people to get the life-changing transplant they need,” said Paul Kidston, Kidney Foundation of Canada National President. “People need to have this conversation with their loved ones and make their wishes known.”
Kidney failure can happen to anyone at any time. Each day in Canada, 15 people are told their kidneys have failed. There is no cure. Dialysis and transplant are the only treatment options.

“Everyone has the power to change a life forever,” said Mr. Kidston. “By registering as an organ donor, a simple process that takes about two minutes, you can become the hero someone is waiting for.”

On average, kidney patients wait 3.9 years before a donor kidney is found. It’s not a good news story for everyone as 30-40% of people on the wait list will never get the kidney they need. An additional 25,000 people undergoing life-sustaining rigorous dialysis treatments don’t even make it onto the wait list. Only 43.2% of dialysis patients survive at least five years.

Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4Z9kfYXI5s and take action now by visiting www.kidney.ca to find out how to register in your province.

Living donation rates across the country continue to grow with nearly as many living donors as there are deceased donors in Canada annually. Latest available statistics reflect 553 living organ donors compared to only 592 deceased organ donors in Canada. A living donor can help one person through the donation of a kidney or a portion of the liver.

A recent campaign in Quebec to raise awareness of living donation features well-known businessman and former star of television’s Dans l’œil du dragon Gaétan Frigon, whose spouse Hélène Héroux donated a kidney to him. The public service announcement has been widely distributed and is featured on a website explaining the donation process: http://www.donatingakidney.ca/testimonials

Download the press release

 

Historic Investment in Kidney Research

Patients have a say in top priorities for the future kidney care


March 31, 2016 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) and Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) applaud an announcement made today which provides kidney research with the largest single investment in Canadian history. It is anticipated the funded project will dramatically change the way in which the kidney healthcare community will collaborate to find ways to improve the lives of those affected.

Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease (Can-SOLVE CKD) has been announced by the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, as one of five successful recipients of $12.5 million of funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR).

The Canadian Society of Nephrology and The Kidney Foundation of Canada are proud partners behind years of planning and development which went into the application. Funds for the project must be matched by $12.5 million in grants, donations and partnerships secured by KFOC, CSN and the researchers involved in the project.

“In the development of the grant we were able to identify matched funding far in excess of the $12.5 million required, which we believe is a testimonial to the commitment of the various partners to engage in this transformational work,” said Dr. Adeera Levin, co-principal investigator of Can-SOLVE CKD. “Affecting nearly four million Canadians, kidney disease has particular relevance to vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children and Indigenous people. This work, being done by Canadians for Canadians, will make kidney care better for all.”

The Kidney Foundation of Canada has been a staunch supporter of Can-SOLVE CKD and will continue to provide leadership to the Patient Council which was key to assisting in the development of the SPOR proposal. The Patient Council and the Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council will provide the unique opportunity for those directly affected by kidney disease to provide ongoing feedback to researchers throughout the duration of the Can-SOLVE CKD initiative.

“It’s important for patients to know that the insights that we share will have an impact on the strategies and decisions that affect our care,” said Barb LeGay, a kidney patient from Nova Scotia who participated in the work which led to the development of the SPOR application. “Those of us who are living with chronic kidney disease and who require frequent medical interventions such as dialysis often feel that we have no control over what happens to us. The Can-SOLVE Network values our experience and encourages us to adopt a broader perspective. The network enables us, as patients, to become directly involved in the development of research that will lead to better ways of identifying and treating kidney disease in patients in years to come.”

Cathy Woods of Manitoba, co-lead of the Patient Council and the Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council, agrees the plan will spark improved care for those at risk of or impacted by kidney disease. As per the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action #19 the Can-SOLVE initiative is implementing measures to close the gaps in health outcomes. “Some of the studies taking place will seek to close that gap by improving access to care and increasing awareness in more remote communities about kidney disease,” said Ms. Woods.

“We need to define the optimal ways to deliver patient-centered care in the 21st century,” said Dr. Manns, co-principal investigator of Can-SOLVE CKD and CSN President. “To do that, we need to identify strategies to enhance patients’ self-management. Bottom line, the end result will be that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time.”

“By supporting this tremendous opportunity, The Kidney Foundation is focused on those outcomes that will have tangible positive impacts on patients by 2020,” said Paul Kidston, National President, The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Through this process, patients will receive the best recommended care, have the chance to participate in studies with novel therapies and, as a result, have the best possible health outcomes.”

“The Can-SOLVE CKD initiative is taking research to a whole new level, bringing patients and caregivers to the forefront of kidney research projects,” said Kate Huffman, a kidney patient from British Columbia, also participated in the initiative’s development and is co-leading the Patient Council. “They are doing this by engaging patients in each project and getting their invaluable life experiences and feedback to help form research outcomes that are important to patients. I think this initiative is going to help change kidney health for future generations. I am very proud to be part of something that will have positive impacts to the quality of life of those living with kidney disease.”

A multitude of partners will help to make this work possible by providing the funding and in-kind support needed. Contributors include 13 universities, six provincial renal programs, eight professional associations, and nine existing research centres/groups along with a multitude of patient groups, national stakeholders, international research groups, and industry partners. The Kidney Foundation of Canada will continue to raise funds to support its $3.35 million investment as the largest single funder, outside of government, to this groundbreaking project.

Through the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) grant announced March 31, work that will be undertaken over the next five years will fall into three thematic areas:
•    Identify and support people living with kidney disease who are at highest risk for poor outcomes
•    Test and define the best treatments to improve outcomes and quality of life
•    Define the best ways to deliver patient-centered care in the 21st century

Download the press release

 

New dialysis, transplant stats released

New data made available today from the annual report Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, Canadian Organ Replacement Register, 2005 to 2014 shows that the number of people waiting for a kidney transplant in 2014 was 2.5 times higher than the number of transplants performed.

The annual report shows trends and statistics related to Canadians being treated for organ failure and treatment options which include dialysis and transplant. It indicates that at the end of 2014, 35,281 Canadians (excluding Quebec) were living with end stage kidney disease. This number has grown 38% since 2005, from 25,653 Canadians.

Read more about the CORR report.

Patient Handbooks help guide the way

New format makes it easier for patients to glean information related to their current stage of living with kidney disease


March 10, 2016 – This morning, The Kidney Foundation of Canada celebrated the launch of its newly-revised and updated Patient Handbooks at Montreal Children’s Hospital, where renal professionals and families shared their positive experiences about using this free resource material to assist them with managing the complex diagnosis of a chronic disease.

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to launch the 5th edition of our patient handbook,” said Elizabeth Myles, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The handbook is provided free of charge by the Foundation to all newly-diagnosed kidney patients across the country. It has been an important resource for Canadian kidney patients, helping them understand what it means to be diagnosed with kidney disease and navigate their options so they are able to make informed choices about their treatment.”

Silène Beauregard + Marcelline

Silène Beauregard and her daughter Marcelline

"The guide Living with Kidney Disease was a great help to understand our children's illness and to prepare us to live with this new reality," according to Silène Beauregard, the mother of Marcelline and Hadrien.

Dr. Joanne Kappel, nephrologist and Physician of Record for the handbooks, said empowering patients with accurate and easy-to-understand information is important to a patient’s wellbeing as they learn to cope with a chronic disease. “Most people do not progress to end-stage kidney disease, especially if they are diagnosed early and are able to take steps to preserve their remaining kidney function. The handbook was split into two to prevent those in the early stages of kidney disease from being overwhelmed with information about treatment options intended for those in the later stages of kidney disease.”

Handbooks are typically distributed to patients through healthcare professionals working in renal units. Since 1993, when the patient information manuals became a core national program, it is estimated that the Foundation has distributed more than 80,000 of them across Canada.

“Feedback from Nephrology Social Workers across Canada is unanimous – The Kidney Foundation’s manual is an invaluable resource for kidney patients and their families,” says Michelle Jensen, President of the Canadian Association of Nephrology Social Workers (CANSW). “It is an integral part of renal education and an important tool for clinicians.  Renal programs across the country provide a copy to each patient through renal clinics and/or when patients begin dialysis.  Clear and comprehensive, it is a patient-friendly introduction to kidney disease that supports education initiatives and serves as a helpful reference for patients and families.”

The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Living with Kidney Disease patient handbook has been divided into two books for the latest edition: Book One: Living with reduced kidney function and Book Two: Living with kidney failure.

Book one, Living with Reduced Kidney Function, is intended for people whose primary care providers or nephrologists have identified kidney damage with either normal or reduced kidney function. It provides information on how kidneys work, and focuses on delaying the worsening of kidney function and preventing end-stage kidney disease through lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and medication management.

Book Two, Living with Kidney Failure, is intended for patients with progressive kidney disease who need more information about treatment options. It provides information on dialysis, transplant, and conservative care. It also covers advance care planning and practical matters such as working, finance and insurance.  

“We are grateful for the support of many philanthropic partners who came forward to support the revision of the handbooks and by doing so, extending their support to thousands of people who are newly-diagnosed with kidney failure every year,” said Ms. Myles.

Download the press release

World Kidney Day focuses on children

Family manages toddler’s daily dialysis treatments while hoping for transplant


March 7, 2016 – Kidney disease is non-discriminating, affecting patients of all ages and circumstance. One in 10 people in the world, including Canada, suffers from kidney disease. International World Kidney Day, this year taking place on Thursday, March 10, helps to raise global awareness about the importance of kidneys to overall health and aims to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems.

The number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has risen dramatically in the past two decades. Throughout March – Kidney Health Month – The Kidney Foundation of Canada and its partners work to raise awareness of kidney disease, and the vital importance of organ and tissue donation. 

One Hamilton, Ontario area family had its own crash course in learning about kidneys when their now two-year-old daughter was born with a rare condition called Renal Hepatic Pancreatic Dysplasia, which affects her kidneys and liver. The young girl was born with fluid-filled cysts covering both her kidneys.

When she was born in 2014, Olivia became one of Canada’s youngest kidney patients.  Nicole Pullen describes her daughter as her inspiration, “a Princess Warrior”. She hopes the toddler with the bright smile and wavy strawberry blond hair will one day join playgroups with other children, and go to school. She longs to take Olivia swimming one day.

Nicole, Isaac and baby OliviaNicole, Isaac and baby Olivia

For now, the reality, though, is very different.

At just four weeks old, Olivia went into end-stage renal failure and was put on dialysis. She continues to be connected to a dialysis machine 12 hours each night. This is her ‘life support’ until she reaches the target size to receive a kidney transplant.

“It can be very overwhelming,” says her mother, Nicole Pullen. “Our life has been at a standstill. I had to take a leave from my job due to Olivia’s intense home care along with constant hospital appointments.”

Kidney disease can affect young people in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions.

Nicole and her husband, Isaac, believe a kidney transplant is their best hope. It would free Olivia from nightly peritoneal dialysis treatments, and give her a new lease on life. She is currently undergoing medical assessments, and once that process is complete, the search will begin for a kidney match. Her parents will be tested as potential donors.

“We have been waiting for this since the day she was born,” Nicole says, of the transplant process. “It is what keeps me going, just knowing there is a goal we are getting to. Olivia needs to have a transplant to have somewhat of a normal life.”

Nicole is a strong advocate for organ donation, an objective shared by The Kidney Foundation of Canada which has set a goal to increase organ donation rates by 50% by 2020. To raise awareness, Nicole and her family are among the thousands of Canadians who take part in The Kidney Foundation’s annual walks, community-based fundraising events which take place across the country annually. Funds raised help to support innovative research and patient programs. 

“Doing the Kidney Walk keeps us motivated,” Nicole says. “We get the whole family involved. It pulls everyone together.” 

This year’s theme for World Kidney Day is Kidney Disease & Children, Act Early to Prevent It! The campaign aims to educate people about the effects of kidney disease on children and its causes, ranging from acute kidney injury and infection to genetic and hereditary diseases. For more tips on kidney healthy lifestyles, visit the World Kidney Day site at www.worldkidneyday.org People are encouraged to move their feet, a simple action to think about the connection between healthy living and kidney health. World Kidney Day and its partners, including The Kidney Foundation of Canada, invite people to take a moment to learn more about the risks of kidney disease, and ways to stay healthy. Evaluate your risk by visiting www.kidney.ca/risk.

Download the press release

March is Kidney Health Month

Find out if you are at risk by taking a simple quiz


March 1, 2016 - One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease. Millions more are at risk, but many don’t know the causes, signs and symptoms behind the disease.

“People think chronic kidney disease is uncommon,” says Manitoba nephrologist and researcher Dr. Navdeep Tangri. “People don’t talk about it.” 

This month, The Kidney Foundation encourages Canadians to know their risk factors and to talk about kidney health. “An easy way for people to learn more about kidney disease is to complete our self-assessment tool at kidney.ca/risk,” according to Paul Kidston, National President of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “It can encourage people to think about their own health management choices and to consider how their medical and family history may also impact kidney health.”

Events and activities across the country, including the support of thousands of door-to-door canvassers participating in the annual March Drive, help raise the profile of kidney health during this awareness month.

Facing the Facts
Statistics and facts about kidney disease in Canada1:

  • 41,931 Canadians are living with end-stage kidney disease; since 2004, this number has grown 35%
  • Of those Canadians with end-stage kidney disease, 57.5% are receiving dialysis treatment and 42.5% have a functioning kidney transplant
  • Diabetes was the main cause of kidney failure in nearly 36% of new patients 
  • More than half of newly-diagnosed patients were age 65 or older
  • Of those patients on hemodialysis treatments, only 42.7% survived at least five years
  • At the end of 2013, there were 3,382 Canadians on the waiting list for a kidney transplant
  • 1,419 people received a kidney transplant, including simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants

In January 2016, Dr. Tangri published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association about predicting when people living with CKD would reach kidney failure. “A common misconception about the disease is that it equals kidney failure,” he said. “Some patients may never get to that stage.”

Some advice Dr. Tangri would give to people in the early stages of the disease would be to maintain really good blood pressure and blood sugar control and to make healthy lifestyle changes. “Dialysis negatively affects a patient’s life,” said Dr. Tangri. “Our job is absolutely to prevent dialysis.”

Dr. Tangri is an attending physician at the Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg as well as an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba. His research is currently supported by grants from The Kidney Foundation of Canada Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) Program, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and Research Manitoba. Among his work, Dr. Tangri has developed a phone application – commonly known as an app – which provides primary care providers with a tool to help them gauge the risk of kidney failure. He is also conducting a prospective study on frailty, physical, and cognitive function in people with advanced CKD. 

Download the press release

Read more about Dr. Tangri.

1. 2015 CORR Report: Treatment of End Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 2004-2014. The Canadian OrganReplacement Register Inc. (CORR) Report is produced by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

 

Tax Tips - 2015 Taxation Year

Every year during tax season, The Kidney Foundation prepares general tax tips for dialysis and transplant patients. The income tax assistance measures most often used by kidney patients are the Medical Expense Tax Credit and the Disability Tax Credit. Read More

Door-to-Door eCanvassing Campaign 2016

The Kidney Foundation of Canada's Door-to-Door Campaign is our largest annual fundraising event. It's a time when thousands of volunteers like you from across Canada come together to make a difference by knocking on doors in their local communities.

Without the success of this campaign, The Kidney Foundation of Canada would not be able to provide the vital services and support to kidney patients and their families across the country.

If you are unable to canvass in your community or simply want to complement your efforts online, we ask that you register today, create your fundraising page, and send emails to friends and family asking for donations. It's a great, quick and easy way to support the campaign. It also helps us save on administration costs so more funds go directly to helping those in need.

Register now at https://kidney.akaraisin.com/Common/Event/Home.aspx?seid=11304&mid=8

Financial Burden Survey

Make your voice heard by participating in a survey about how kidney disease has affected your income and ability to work. Tell us about your out-of-pocket costs because of dialysis.

The survey is open to all adults (ages 18+) across Canada who are currently undergoing in-centre hemodialysis, at-home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis treatment.

The goal of this project is to measure the financial burden that patients and their families experience.

The information learned will be used to help The Kidney Foundation of Canada and provincial renal programs to tailor their programs to best suit patient needs. The data will also help The Kidney Foundation strengthen its voice to advocate to government and other funding bodies to provide more financial support for patients, families and dialysis units.

Learn more about the survey and participate here

Product Change Warning - Check with your Dietitian

Are you taking a nutritional supplement or meal replacement? Generally the nutritional content of these products do not change, but recently one company announced a formulation change that could have a big impact on those kidney patients who need a potassium restriction.Warning

Boost Diabetic has always been a lower potassium product and many Canadian dietitians have recommended it for their kidney patients. This fall, the company announced a change in the formula that increased the potassium as much as seven-fold in some of the flavours. For example, a vanilla Boost Diabetic previously provided 50mg of potassium per bottle and now has 350mg per bottle.

If you’ve been using Boost Diabetic and you require a potassium restriction, please contact your dietitian to find a low potassium product that would be suitable for you. The product may still be appropriate for you, but if in doubt, check with your dietitian!

This product change is a good reminder that ingredients and nutritional information can change. Food manufacturers often update and change their products, so it’s always a good idea to check your labels regularly.

Kidney Foundation welcomes new Executive Director Elizabeth Myles

November 3, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Elizabeth Myles to the position of National Executive Director effective November 3, 2015.

Elizabeth MylesHaving dedicated her career to working within the not-for-profit sector, Elizabeth brings with her over 17 years of experience with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), a patient-led organization for people with bleeding disorders.

“We welcome the vast experience in organizational management and public policy Elizabeth brings to The Kidney Foundation of Canada,” said National President Paul Kidston. “Her expertise in communications will be a tremendous benefit in giving the kidney community a strong voice.”

Elizabeth started her career with the WFH in the communications field and was quickly promoted to the position of Director of Communications and Public Policy, a position she held for 12 years. In 2013 she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and most recently served for nearly a year in an interim capacity as the Chief Executive Officer.

During her tenure at WFH, Elizabeth worked closely with an international volunteer Board on strategic and governance policy issues to advance the mission, and she led a strategic planning exercise which led to the development of strategic priorities and a strategic plan.

“I am inspired by the mission and work of The Kidney Foundation of Canada and am very excited to take on this role to help improve care and support for Canadians with kidney disease," said Ms. Myles. “I look forward to working closely with the dedicated volunteer and staff teams and to cultivating collaborative relationships with Kidney Foundation stakeholders.”

Download the press release

Diabetes and Kidney Health

October 28, 2015 - Do you or someone you know have diabetes? Signs of early kidney damage can develop in as many as 50% or more of people with diabetes1-4. If left untreated, this could lead to more damage or kidney failure. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in Canada, listed as the cause for 36% of new cases of end-stage kidney disease5.

Diabetes is a condition that is caused by the lack of insulin in the body or the body’s inability to properly use normal amounts of insulin. High blood glucose levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in the kidney which can lead to the inability of your kidneys to filter the blood. This in turn can lead to the overflow of a protein called albumin to be found in the blood stream and then eventually in urine. In addition, diabetes can also damage the nerves in many parts of the body. When the bladder is affected, it may be difficult to pass urine. The pressure from urine building up in the bladder can damage the kidneys. 

If you have diabetes, you should be screened regularly for kidney disease. Management of your diabetes can help prevent kidney damage. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Have your urine, blood and blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor
  • Maintain good control of your blood sugar
  • Control high blood pressure (less than 130/80* on most readings)
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make the proper food choices
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • See your doctor if you think you have a bladder infection
  • Get enough sleep
  • Ask your doctor about any new developments in the treatment of diabetes

* Blood pressure goals vary depending on the individual. Discuss your blood pressure goal with your doctor.

This and additional information about diabetes and your kidney health can be found at kidney.ca/diabetes-and-kidney-disease on our website.

For more information about the connection between diabetes and kidney health, you may also be interested in viewing this short video and this diabetes infographic.


1. Reenders, K., De Nobel, E., Hoogen, H., Rutten, G. and Van Weel, C. (1993). Diabetes and its long-term complications in general practice: a survey in a well-defined population. Family Practice, 10(2), pp.169-172.2.
2. Weir, M. (2004). Albuminuria predicting outcome in diabetes: Incidence of microalbuminuria in Asia-Pacific Rim. Kidney Int, 66(s92), pp.S38-S39.
3. Warram, J., Gearin, G. and Laffel, L. (1996). Effect of duration of type I diabetes on the prevalence of stages of diabetic nephropathy defined by urinary albumin/creatinine ratio. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 7, pp.930-937.3.
4. Weir, M. (2004). Albuminuria predicting outcome in diabetes: Incidence of microalbuminuria in Asia-Pacific Rim. Kidney Int, 66(s92), pp.S38-S39.
5. Canadian Organ Replacement Register, 2015 CORR Report: Treatment of end-stage organ failure in Canada 2004-2013, Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Adeera Levin

July 2, 2015 - Congratulations to Dr. Adeera Levin who has been selected as a 2015 recipient of The Order of Canada.  Dr. Levin is a respected nephrologist and researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care & the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Levin is Head of the Division of Nephrology at UBC as well as the Executive Director of the BC Renal Agency. She is also President (2015 to 2017) of the International Society of Nephrology, the second woman and first Canadian ever elected to this post, and was recently awarded an International Distinguished Medal from the National Kidney Foundation (NFK).

The first researcher in British Columbia to be awarded, in 2014, The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Medal for Research Excellence for her outstanding accomplishments in kidney disease research, Dr. Adeera Levin has made significant contributions to the understanding of the determinants of kidney health and disease and has ensured this knowledge is shared with patients living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and their health-care providers to improve clinical care and quality of life.

Dr. Levin is often credited for the enormous success of the KRESCENT training program, where she has been Curriculum Co-Chair for the past 10 years, and leads a strong group with international impact in nephrology as the Principal Investigator of the Canadian Study of Prediction of Death, Dialysis and Interim Cardiovascular Events (CanPREDDICT), a large pan-Canadian project. Dr. Levin is also the inaugural editor of the new Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease (CJKHD), an open-access scholarly publication and the first of its kind to serve the Canadian nephrology community, and co-lead of the CAN-SOLVE CKD initiative.
 
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
 
The original announcement can be viewed on the Governor General of Canada website.
 

Medication for Adults Living with ADPKD available for use in Canada

June 23, 2015 – UPDATE – Effective June 3, 2015, JINARC™ (tolvaptan) was made commercially available for use in Canada. More information is available in the text below, as published in a March 5, 2015 news item.

***

Health Canada Approves Medication for Adults Living with ADPKD
March 5, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased to share that Health Canada has just approved JINARC™ (tolvaptan), the first treatment in Canada for patients living with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

JINARC™ is a twice-daily, oral medication that’s indicated to slow the progression of kidney enlargement and should help protect the kidneys from damage and failure.1

ADPKD is a genetic disorder that causes multiple cysts to form in the kidneys. It can often remain undetected due to slow progressing symptoms.2 

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is excited that new hope is here for the increasing number of people living with ADPKD in Canada.

Most ADPKD patients require treatment, and half of PKD  patients reach end-stage renal disease and require a dialysis and/or a kidney transplant by age 54.3 It also comes with an emotional burden. According to a recent survey conducted among Canadians living with ADPKD, the vast majority (85 per cent) feel that having ADPKD has had a negative impact on their quality of life and more than half (60 per cent) would like to have more control over the treatment of this disease.4*

More information on Health Canada’s approval of JINARC™ can be found here.


*Given the low incidence population and the small sample size for this hard to reach group, results should be interpreted directionally and with caution.

References:
1 JINARC™ Canadian product monograph. Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical Inc. Updated: February 23, 2015.
2 The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Accessed January 2015. http://www.kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=329 
3 Alam, Ashan and Perrone, Ronald D. Management of ESRD in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, Vol 17, No 2. March 2010: pp 164-172.
4 The “ADPKD – Quality of life patient study” was conducted through an online survey by Vision Critical between November 21, 2014 and February 9, 2015, with 58 Canadian adults who currently have ADPKD. A probability sample of ADPKD patients of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 13%.

 

Celebrating Excellence

June 22, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased to have the opportunity each year to celebrate its many volunteers and supporters through its National Recognition Program. Most recently, Foundation representatives had the opportunity to present Alex Lifeson, guitarist with the Canadian band RUSH, with a Public Awareness Award.

The private awards ceremony, held prior to the RUSH concert in Montreal June 21, was hosted by RBC, which recently received the 2015 National Fund Development Award, along with additional recipients Domino’s Canada and The Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation.

Public Awareness Award 2015 - Alex Lifeson

From left are RBC Senior Vice-President Mr. Tony Loffreda; Kidney Foundation National Board Member Chris Gobeil; Alex Lifeson;
and Kidney Foundation employees, National Director of Human Resources Teresa Havill and National Director of Development Linda Pellas.

In addition to those noted above, The Kidney Foundation of Canada recognized the following individuals at recent awards ceremonies:

  • National President’s Award: Dr. Joanne Kappel
  • The Harold W. Ashenmil Award: Harvey Thomson
  • The David Ornstein Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Manjula Gowrishankar
  • The John B. Dossetor Research Awards: Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert and Dr. Lori West
  • The Mary Lou Karley Patient Services Award: Hilary Heenan
  • Public Awareness Awards: Rosvita Dransfeld & ID Productions, and Craig Kerr & YES TV
  • Special Appreciation Award: Erhard Pinno & the Camrose Door-to-Door Team


For more information about the National Recognition Program, including lists of past award recipients, visit www.kidney.ca/National-Recognition-Program

Dr. David Rush Awarded 2015 Medal for Research Excellence

June 9, 2015 – For his outstanding contribution to kidney disease research, Dr. David Rush has been awarded the 2015 Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence.

Dr. David Rush is Professor, Dept. of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, as well as Medical Director of Transplant Manitoba – Adult Renal Transplant Program, and Past Head of the Section of Nephrology in the Dept. of Internal Medicine. In addition to several teaching awards, Dr. Rush was awarded the Nadine Jenkins Distinguished Service Award by The Kidney Foundation of Canada Manitoba Branch in 2003, and The Canadian Society of Transplantation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Dr. Rush’s work has been instrumental in moving the renal transplantation field forward.

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada is committed to supporting excellent renal research in Canada and we celebrate this annually through the Medal for Research Excellence,” according to Elisabeth Fowler, National Director of Research for the Foundation. “Dr. Rush joins an esteemed group of researchers who have received the medal since 1996, and who have been recognized both nationally and internationally for excellence in kidney research. Through their dedication to finding improved methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention, researchers’ contributions have a tangible and positive impact in the lives of those affected by kidney disease.”

Innovative Research
Dr. Rush’s pioneering work in the use of surveillance biopsies in transplantation made him the first to report the high prevalence of subclinical rejection in renal transplant recipients. With this research, he has changed the understanding of the link between early chronic pathologic changes and long-term graft survival. Dr. Rush’s seminal work in this field has lowered the threshold for the diagnosis of rejection and had an impact on the design of clinical trials evaluating immunosuppression protocols for renal transplant patients. Dr. Rush’s work in translational medicine has also directly led to the improvement in renal allograft survival and patient care in the Transplant Manitoba-Adult Renal Program, where over 1,000 transplants have been performed to date. The international profile of his research program has led to changes in clinical practice in many transplant programs worldwide.

“Dr. Rush’s dedication to his patients and to the field of transplantation has meant the world to families living with renal failure. His leading-edge research has greatly improved outcomes for renal transplant patients giving people the ability to live life to the fullest,” said Dr. Peter Nickerson, Medical Director, Transplant Manitoba - Gift of Life Program.

Outstanding Patient Care, Mentorship and Knowledge Translation Work
Dr. Rush, Past Director of the Nephrology Training Program at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, has been a dedicated counselor to a new generation of researchers, helping them develop as independent, internationally-known investigators. His constant pursuit of excellence in all endeavours is proven, not only in his successful research, but in his teaching. During the past 30 years Dr. Rush has been nominated almost annually for awards in teaching excellence by his students.

“The University of Manitoba is proud of Dr. Rush’s groundbreaking work in the areas of renal and kidney research. His dedication and commitment to research, mentorship and teaching have led to positive changes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of kidney disease,” Dr. Brian Postl, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences & Vice-Provost (Health Sciences), University of Manitoba. “I offer my heartfelt congratulations on this much deserved award,”

Download the full press release (pdf)

For more information contact:

Roberta Koscielny
Communications Specialist
Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre
T 204 787 1897   
rkoscielny2@hsc.mb.ca 
Wendy Kudeba
Acting National Director, Communications & Marketing
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
T 416-735-8408
wkudeba@kidney.on.ca

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Researchers Lauded for their Work

March 31, 2015 - Two Canadians researchers have been awarded International Distinguished Medals from the National Kidney Foundation (NFK) in the United States. Dr. Adeera Levin of British Columbia and Dr. Amit Garg of Ontario were two of four medal recipients celebrated during the President’s Dinner at the 2015 Spring Clinical Meetings held in Texas last week. Dr. Adeera Levin is The Kidney Foundation of Canada 2014 Medal for Research Excellence recipient and a member of the Curriculum Task Force and Mentorship Committee for KRESENT. Dr. Garg is a recipient of biomedical research grants from The Kidney Foundation of Canada for his work related to organ donation.

The International Distinguished Medal Awards were established twenty-five years ago to honor people who have made significant contributions to the field of kidney disease whether in clinical nephrology, academia or through scientific discoveries or volunteer work for organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation.

The NKF Scientific Advisory Board nominates individuals, and then there is a vote to determine each year’s award recipients. This year, they are commending the efforts of four researchers deserving the International Distinguished Medal, two of whom are from Canada, one from Belgium and one from Australia.

IFK President Dr. Jeffrey Berns with Dr. Amit Garg
NKF President Dr. Jeffrey Berns with
Dr. Amit Garg

Adeera Levin, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Levin is a Professor of Medicine, Head of the Division of Nephrology at the University of British Columbia, and a Consultant Nephrologist at Providence Health Care/St. Paul’s Hospital, in Vancouver, Canada. She is the Executive Director of the BC Renal Agency, which oversees the care, planning, and budgets for Kidney Services in British Columbia. In this capacity, she has leveraged her epidemiological training, clinical knowledge, and health outcomes research to develop an evidence-based transparent system which enhances the care of patients across the continuum of care (from identification of CKD through dialysis, transplant, and death). She is involved in international activities across the CKD spectrum, and has served as Secretary General of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN), where she is now President-Elect. Her major research areas of interest include non-traditional risk factors for CVD in CKD patients (with particular focus on anemia, phosphate and vitamin D, and progression of CKD variability), as well as models of care. She has received numerous teaching and research awards from local and national groups. She was honored with the Canadian Society of Nephrology award for Outstanding Contributions to Canadian Nephrology (2013), and The Kidney Foundation Medal for Research Excellence (2014), and was inducted as a fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She has 268 peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters, and has co-edited a textbook on CKD. She serves on numerous editorial boards and reviews for major kidney and medical journals. She is the Principal Investigator on a large cohort study, CAN-PREDDICT, and holds numerous peer reviewed grants. Dr. Levin collaborates with investigators across Canada and internationally and she is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the new Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease (CJKHD).

Amit Garg, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FACP
Dr. Garg is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. He practices general nephrology at the London Health Sciences Centre (outpatient clinics and hospital service), where he also serves as the Medical Director of the Living Kidney Donor Program. Working in multi-disciplinary teams, Dr. Garg conducts clinical and health services research to improve outcomes for patients with kidney diseases, including those receiving dialysis or a kidney transplant. He also aims to improve the efficiency by which renal care is delivered. He currently serves as Director of the London Kidney Clinical Research Unit, Site Director of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Western Facility, and Lead for the Ontario ICES Kidney, Dialysis, and Transplantation Program.

- Reprinted with permission from the National Kidney Foundation.

Don Cherry to promote organ donation on Coach's Corner this weekend

March 13, 2015 - The Cherry family are outspoken advocates for organ donation‬ and ‎kidney disease‬. To celebrate Kidney Health Month and ‪‎World Kidney Day‬, Don Cherry is encouraging hockey fans to register as organ donors and will be speaking about organ donation during Coach's Corner on Saturday.

On World Kidney Day the London Knights Hockey Club partnered with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Cherry family and the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at London Health Sciences Centre to promote greater awareness about organ and tissue donation. Together, all parties involved aim to educate hockey fans about organ donation in Canada and encourage those listening to register as an organ donor.

For more information:

WKD 2015 hockey game with Don Cherry
LONDON, ON - MARCH 12: Hockey Legend Don Cherry drops the ceremonial puck between Liam Maaskant #2 of the Kitchener Rangers and Max Domi #16 of the London Knights prior to play in an OHL game at Budweiser Gardens on March 12, 2015 in London, Ontario, Canada. The Rangers defeated the Knights 8-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

March is Kidney Health Month

March 11, 2015 – One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease and millions more are at risk. Throughout March – Kidney Health Month – The Kidney Foundation of Canada, its partners and volunteers work together to host awareness events aimed at raising the profile of kidney disease and organ and tissue donation.

“On Thursday March 12, we will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of World Kidney Day, a global event which draws attention to kidney health,” said Dr. Julian Midgley, President of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.  “This year’s theme, Kidney Health for All, raises awareness about the fact that not everyone is equal with regards to their personal risk for kidney disease.”

The Kidney Foundation encourages Canadians to take three simple steps during Kidney Health Month to improve the health of their kidneys:

  • Control your blood sugar level and monitor your blood pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney failure.
  • Eat healthy, keep your weight in check, and be active. This can reduce risk as you lower salt intake, increase fluid intake, and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney failure.
  • Get your kidney function checked with a simple blood test, especially if you have one or more of the following at risk factors:
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Family history of kidney disease
    • 55 years or older
    • Smoker
    • Obese
    • Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, or African heritage

Early detection is key because kidney disease can be slowed or prevented when detected early enough. An online assessment tool is one way The Kidney Foundation helps to inform and educate Canadians about the risk factors and warning signs.

“We encourage our supporters to help friends, family members and colleagues to understand their risks to kidney health, and to make healthy decisions about their lifestyle choices,” said Dr. Midgley. “They can start their journey towards maintaining kidney health by completing The Kidney Foundation of Canada online risk assessment tool at www.kidney.ca/risk.”

Additional public awareness comes through the dedicated support of thousands of volunteers who go door-to-door during Kidney Health Month to ask for financial support during The Kidney Foundation’s annual March Drive campaign. This fundraising campaign, which helps to support the Foundation’s programs and research investments, is also an effective way for people to further spread the word about good kidney health.

Download the full press release (pdf)

Download our Facing the Facts 2015 infographic for statistics on kidney disease and organ donation in Canada:

Facing the Facts 2015 infographic (portrait)
Facing the Facts 2015 infographic (landscape)

Health Canada Approves Medication for Adults Living with ADPKD

March 5, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased to share that Health Canada has just approved JINARC™ (tolvaptan), the first treatment in Canada for patients living with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

JINARC™ is a twice-daily, oral medication that’s indicated to slow the progression of kidney enlargement and should help protect the kidneys from damage and failure.1

ADPKD is a genetic disorder that causes multiple cysts to form in the kidneys. It can often remain undetected due to slow progressing symptoms.2 

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is excited that new hope is here for the increasing number of people living with ADPKD in Canada.

Most ADPKD patients require treatment, and half of PKD  patients reach end-stage renal disease and require a dialysis and/or a kidney transplant by age 54.3 It also comes with an emotional burden. According to a recent survey conducted among Canadians living with ADPKD, the vast majority (85 per cent) feel that having ADPKD has had a negative impact on their quality of life and more than half (60 per cent) would like to have more control over the treatment of this disease.4*

More information on Health Canada’s approval of JINARC™ can be found here.


*Given the low incidence population and the small sample size for this hard to reach group, results should be interpreted directionally and with caution.

References:
1 JINARC™ Canadian product monograph. Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical Inc. Updated: February 23, 2015.
2 The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Accessed January 2015. http://www.kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=329 
3 Alam, Ashan and Perrone, Ronald D. Management of ESRD in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, Vol 17, No 2. March 2010: pp 164-172.
4 The “ADPKD – Quality of life patient study” was conducted through an online survey by Vision Critical between November 21, 2014 and February 9, 2015, with 58 Canadian adults who currently have ADPKD. A probability sample of ADPKD patients of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 13%.

Appointment of new National Director of Research

February 6, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is very pleased to announce the appointment of Elisabeth Fowler to the position of National Director of Research, effective March 2nd, 2015. Elisabeth Fowler Ms Fowler has a very successful background in the health, research and pharmaceutical sectors, with extensive experience relevant to her new role in areas such as health research management, partnership development, public policy, marketing, and patient and volunteer engagement.
 
Elisabeth Fowler will arrive at The Kidney Foundation from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, where she has served the past five years as the Assistant Director of the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. Ms. Fowler previously spent over eight years in various positions including Partner and Vice-President Policy at World Health Strategies, and its predecessor Ward Health Strategies, which are consulting firms specializing in issues common to the pharmaceutical industry and patient groups. Ms. Fowler has also worked at Rx&D, the umbrella body for Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical companies, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, the Montreal YMCA, and Canadians for Health Research.

 

Disability Tax Credit Consultations

November 10, 2014 - As you may be aware, the Disability Tax Credit Promoter’s Restriction Act (DTCPRA), which received Royal Assent on May 29, 2014, proposes to limit the fees that a promoter may charge to complete a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) request.

Starting this month, the CRA will begin in-person and online consultations seeking the views of Canadians with disabilities and their supporting persons, promoters, tax professionals, qualified practitioners and members from the general public. This feedback will help the CRA establish regulations setting the maximum fees allowable under the Act, as well as to identify individuals who may be exempt from the Act’s reporting requirements. The CRA is also looking for suggestions on how to simplify the DTC process and clarify the steps Canadians need to take to apply for the credit.

Your participation and feedback are important to the CRA and will be essential in helping protect people with disabilities from paying excessive fees for assistance with a DTC request as well as improve the DTC process.

Find out more information and how to participate here.

Don Cherry and Terry Leon receive Kidney Foundation Awards

Sept 18, 2014 – Mississauga, Ontario – Don Cherry and Terry Leon received National Awards at The Kidney Foundation of Canada 50th Anniversary Breakfast in recognition of their outstanding commitment to raising awareness of organ donation and the importance of early risk assessment for kidney disease. Their family experiences with kidney failure are poignantly shared in the Foundation’s 50 Kidney Stories anniversary magazine.

Don Cherry – Recipient, Kidney Foundation of Canada Fund Development Award
 “On World Kidney Day in March 2013, Don Cherry donated his much-loved SUV to the Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Car Program,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “He used his donation to raise public awareness of both the program and organ donation. Funds raised through the Kidney Car program help us spread the word about organ donation, support programs for kidney patients and fund research into kidney disease and treatments. In Ontario alone, the Kidney Car program has experienced a 38% increase in 2013 and continues to see amazing growth through 2014 thanks to Don.”

 “I am really touched by this award from The Kidney Foundation. Our family was blessed that my daughter Cindy could donate a kidney to my son Tim when he had kidney failure at age 15. Organ donation is one of the best treatments for kidney failure, yet every year Canadians die waiting for a transplant. I don’t feel I can do enough to give back for what we were lucky to receive when my son needed it most,” says Don Cherry.

Terry Leon – Recipient, Kidney Foundation of Canada Public Awareness Award
Terry Leon, CEO of Leon’s Furniture Canada, is among the first members of the Canadian business community to have “put a face to risk factors for kidney disease” by way of a public service announcement. Both his father and uncle had kidney disease and underwent dialysis treatment for kidney failure. “Terry Leon’s participation in The Kidney Foundation’s  I am One 50th Anniversary Public Service Announcement campaign, and his public acknowledgement that his father was one of the many Canadians affected by kidney disease, shows great leadership, humility and courage,” says Paul Shay. “Television stations across Canada played the Public Service Announcement nearly 2,000 times.”

 “I am honoured and grateful for this recognition but I must add that I truly believe that greater public awareness of kidney disease risk factors and a greater accent on prevention can improve kidney health outcomes,” says Terry Leon. He quickly adds with a smile, “And naturally, for those who haven’t done it yet, I strongly encourage you to take the online risk assessment at kidney.ca/risk.”

To learn about other Awardees, visit: www.kidney.ca/national-recognition-program/50th-anniversary-breakfast.

For further information, please contact:
Irene Aguzzi, irene.aguzzi@kidney.ca, T: 1.800.361.7494, ext. 227, Cell: 514.458.5342
Wendy Kudeba, wkudeba@kidney.on.ca, T. 1.800.387.4474 ext. 4980, Cell: 416.735.8408

Download this press release (pdf)

International Alport Syndrome Meeting Report Published

July 15, 2014 - The 2014 International Workshop on Alport Syndrome, held in Oxford, UK in January 2014, published its report in the July issue of Kidney International. Support for this Workshop is part of The Kidney Foundation’s collaboration with  other organizations to pool resources to generate new knowledge to reduce the burden of kidney disease and raise awareness of this rare genetic condition.

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada was proud to support this workshop” says Dr. Julian Midgley, President of the Kidney Foundation and Workshop participant, “It was an important step forward in furthering research and clinical care for Alport Syndrome”.

Download the 2014 International Workshop on Alport Syndrome report


The Kidney Foundation of Canada is currently funding the following research on Alport Syndrome:

•    Dr. Judith Savige 2014 – 2015
Correction of the genetic defect in Alport Syndrome using the TALEN approach
The University of Melbourne (Aus)
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US) and Pedersen Family)

•    Dr. Stefano Da Sacco 2014 - 2015
Podocyte response to injury in Alport Syndrome: an answer from human amniotic fluid kidney progenitors
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Cal.
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US) and Pedersen Family)

Research on Alport Syndrome previously funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada:

•    Dr. Oliver Gross 2013 – 2014
Nephroprotective and antifibrotic potential of Micro-RNA21 in the COL4A3 mouse model of Alport Syndrome
University Medical Centre Goettingen (Ger)
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US), the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

•    Dr. Christopher Licht 2012 – 2013
Eculizumab in Alport Syndrome
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
(co-funded with the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

•    Dr. York Pei 2012 - 2013
Systems biology approach to identify novel therapeutic targets for Alport Syndrome
University Health Network, Toronto
(co-funded with the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

•    Dr. Judith Savage 2013 – 2014
Derivation and characterisation of induced pluripotent stem cell lines from patients with X-linked Alport Syndrome - a model for examining mechanisms and therapies
The University of Melbourne (Aus)
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US), the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

Government of Canada Proposes Changes to Nutrition Information on Food Labels

July 14, 2014 - Health Canada launched a series of online public consultations on proposed changes that will improve the way nutrition information is presented on labels. The proposed label changes, such as including potassium on the nutrition facts table, reflect feedback received by Health Canada from parents and consumers during round table sessions and an online consultation in the winter 2014. 

The overall goal of the proposed changes is to provide Canadians with the nutrition information they need to make informed decisions about the foods they buy and prepare for themselves and their families.

The online consultations will run for 60 days, from July 14 to September 11, 2014.

Canadians are invited to review the proposed changes (listed below) and participate in the online consultation: http://surveys-sondages.hc-sc.gc.ca/s/labelling-etiquetage2/?l=en

   Fact Sheet - Proposed Changes to the Look of the Nutrition Facts Table and the List of Ingredients
   Fact Sheet - New Serving Size Guidelines to Make Comparing Foods Easier
   Fact Sheet - Better Understanding the Sugar Content of Our Foods

 

KFOC, Pedersen Family and Partners award two new 2014 Alport Syndrome Research Grants

June 17, 2014 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Pedersen Family, the Macquarie Foundation and the Alport Syndrome Fondation are pleased to announce that they have jointly awarded funding for two research projects on Alport Syndrome.

Dr. Judy Savige of the University of Melbourne and Dr. Sharon Ricardo of Monash University (Australia) were awarded $100,000 for a one-year study on Correction of the genetic defect in Alport syndrome using the TALEN approachClick here to read Dr. Savige’s and Dr. Ricardo’s full research abstract.

Dr. Stefano Da Sacco of Children's Hospital Los Angeles was awarded $100,000 for a one-year study on Podocyte response to injury in Alport Syndrome: an answer from human amniotic fluid kidney progenitors. Click here to read Dr. Da Sacco's full research abstract.

Dr. Adeera Levin Awarded Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2014 Medal for Research Excellence

June 2, 2014 – For her outstanding accomplishments in kidney disease research, Dr. Adeera Levin has been awarded the 2014 Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence. Dr. Levin, a nephrologist and researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, and the University of British Columbia, is the first BC researcher to receive this award. Recently named President (2015 to 2017) of the International Society of Nephrology, she is the second woman and first Canadian ever elected to this post. She is also the inaugural editor of the new Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease (CJKHD), an open-access scholarly publication and the first of its kind to serve the Canadian nephrology community.

Innovative Research 
Dr. Levin’s research has focused on the early development of kidney disease and its association with other conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). Her description of unique abnormalities in the physiology of kidney patients with CVD such as remarking the presence of anemia and abnormal levels of vitamin D, phosphate and parathyroid hormone (PTH), was novel and resulted in a series of basic research collaborations to better understand the biology of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and CVD.

As lead investigator of the  Prediction of Death, Dialysis and Interim Cardiovascular Events (CanPREDDICT) study, a large pan-Canadian project, she seeks to understand the factors leading to renal and cardiovascular disease progression in CKD patients. This new translational program, a first for nephrology in Canada, will study the genetic information (genotype) and observable characteristics (phenotype) of 2,500 patients.

Outstanding Patient Care, Mentorship and Knowledge Translation Work
Head of the Division of Nephrology at the University of British Columbia and Executive Director of the BC Renal Agency, Dr. Levin has leveraged her epidemiological training, clinical knowledge and health outcomes research to develop an evidence-based system that enhances the care of patients across the continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment.

“Dr. Adeera Levin has always emphasized the importance of collaboration and evidence-based medicine, and its acquisition when it is lacking, to guide patient care or health care resource allotment,” says Dr. Michelle Hladunewich, Head of the Divisions of Obstetric Medicine and Nephrology at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “Her collaborative spirit is most notable. It extends beyond her countless trainees to the many young investigators across Canada, introducing them to international opportunities.”

Dr. Levin is Chair of both the national Curriculum Task Force for the Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) program, where she mentors promising young researchers, and of the Knowledge User group of the Canadian Kidney Knowledge Translation and Generation Network (CANN-NET), where she coordinates pan-Canadian studies in CKD. She also chaired the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) CKD Work group, responsible for the updated 2012 diagnostic and treatment guidelines. Dr. Levin has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters and co-edited a text book on chronic kidney disease.

Download the press release

 

March is Kidney Health Month: Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Take 10 Minutes to Find Out

March 13, 2014 – This March, Kidney Health Month, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is launching a free Online Risk Assessment tool for kidney disease at www.kidney.ca/risk and a new public service announcement (PSA) to help raise awareness. The PSA features Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, whose family has suffered from conditions that cause kidney disease.

“During the Kidney Foundation’s 50th anniversary year, we’re taking extra steps to empower individuals to actively engage in their kidney health care,” says Paul Shay, the charity’s National Executive Director. ”Thanks to celebrity spokesperson Alex Lifeson’s participation in a new public service announcement, we are able to help raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease. Canadians will also have a health information e-tool at their fingertips and a printed risk assessment they can share with their healthcare provider – crucial resources for their kidney health management.”

In many cases, kidney disease can be prevented or managed and kidney failure avoided. When kidney disease is inevitable, as is the case with some genetic forms, finding out early can make the difference between life and death.

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

 

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