I asked Pier Merone how the organization is currently addressing the health problem regarding the lack of organ donors and she explained that the National Kidney Foundation is trying to complete their program which is called end the wait. In the end the wait program, they are trying to gain living donors to donate their organs because when a person dies, it is sometimes hard to save the organs in time unless the person is in a coma at the hospital or right next to surgeons before they die.
Although a person may be on top of the wait list, they may not have priority. The wait list works by first come first serve but, it also depends on the donors and recipients age, blood type, etc. For example, if an older person is up next on the wait list as a recipient but, the only available kidney donor is from a young person, that kidney will likely go to the next best young age appropriate recipient. This situation works vice versa. According to Pier Merone, she mentions that by doing this they can match the life with the same age so an older person wouldnt receive a younger persons kidney because if they only have about 10 years left to live, it wouldnt be reasonable to give it to them (personal communication, November 16, 2012).
Besides going to local fairs, churches, charities events, clinics, and more to promote awareness of proper health care of kidney, the National Kidney Foundation also has two current programs which they are able to address these health problems. Pier Merone mentions that the first one is called the kidney health risk assessments which is also known as KHRA and basically this gives people who mightve the risk of kidney disease and its for the general public and they do pre-screening tests which consists of taking the patients blood pressure, measure height and weight also known as BMI, and giving a 10 questions survey to help determine the person is at risk (P. Merone, personal communication, November 16, 2012). Another current program is called the Keep Program which is known as the Kidney Early Evaluation program. In this program Merone stated it is a full on screening test which consist of a blood pressure test, BMI, blood test, and a urine test (personal communication, November 16, 2012). These programs are for people who are uninsured, dont quality for Medicare, low income families.
On my next question, I asked what type of barriers the National Kidney Foundation currently have regarding to addressing these problems and Pier Merone mentions that one of the greatest barriers would be awareness (personal communication, November 16, 2012) because physicians today arent caring for it and arent promoting these issues such as chronic kidney diseases to their patients nor educating them of how to prevent them. As for my next question, I asked Merone what type of goals do the NKF are expecting to see regarding reducing or eliminating these health problems and she explained to me that there are many people today who are at risk which not only is caused by families history but, could also be other health factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and more. Merone mentions to me that one of their goals is to bring out more awareness to people who are uneducated and have no clue that they are currently at risk regarding a kidney disease because the only people who are using their resources are only sick or affected people and they want to expand their groups of people to become more awareness of how serious this epidemic issue is (personal communication, November 16, 2012).
According to Merone, as of today there are currently 1 out of 3 people who are at risk to kidney diseases. Many of these serious stage 5 affected people would have to be put on a kidney dialysis as many of them are hoping to receive a donor that matches them. As Merone mention to me that if someone who is between the ages of 45-50 years old, they would only live for about 8 more years just with a kidney dialysis. However, with someone who is age 45-50 years and has a successful transplant can live another 22 years if they do the transplant before a dialysis.
The last question I asked Merone was if there were any changes to their program in the future to better address what would it be? According to Merone she would like to not only see more funding because the NKF funding are basically done by individual donations, sponsors, corporations, and very few grants from the government. Merone also stated a new change they are trying to do is start a voluntary program called ambassadors. This program will consist of college students who will be going to all type of grade schools from middle to university, businesses, and more and promote the awareness of lack of organ donors and kidney diseases. We would need an army to promote and address these problems to the general public, the more people we have the more people will know (P. Merone, personal communication, November 16, 2012).