Illinois Department of Public Health: World Kidney Day Event Forges New Community Partnerships

Recipients of the National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities grant are telling their success stories of how they are addressing COVID-19-related health disparities and advancing health equity through programs and activities funded by the grant.

Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the adverse effects on disproportionately affected populations, including the barriers they face to access healthcare and manage chronic conditions.

About 35.5million adults in the US are estimated to suffer from chronic kidney disease.1 In Illinois, the number is roughly 1.5 million; 27% are people with lower incomes and nearly half are people of color who also suffer from high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. 2

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities grant, the Illinois Department of Public Health was able to partner with the Illinois Public Health Association and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI) to host World Kidney Day in Anna, Illinois, in March 2023.

Through the event, NKFI brought together various community-based organizations (CBOs) that focus on people of different races and ethnicities and raised awareness about kidney health, offered free KidneyMobile screenings and education on different chronic diseases, and provided COVID-19 information, testing, and vaccinations.

Solution

By bringing together CBOs with hospitals and clinics, World Kidney Day was a prime opportunity to disseminate information and resources about kidney health, chronic conditions, COVID-19, and mental health; provide COVID-19 tests; and vaccinate against COVID-19. Organizers also offered nutrition counseling to attendees and had giveaways of nutritious food to all attendees.

Outcome

Local news media and students from the nearby School of Social Work attended World Kidney Day, and more than 20 organizations that had never worked together before came together to make World Kidney Day a resounding success.

Because of the event, people of all races, ethnicities, and economic statuses had the opportunity to learn more about the many kidney health- and COVID-19-related resources available to them. New community partnerships and collaborations for health were formed with the aims of furthering equity and understanding, focusing on health and well-being, eliminating hate and misunderstanding, and promoting equity and inclusion throughout the state. These partners will continue to work together to improve the quality of life for everyone in Illinois.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2023 website. https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/CKD-national-facts.html. Accessed 08/2023.

2 National Kidney Foundation Illinois. Illinois Leadership Summit website. https://www.nkfi.org/il-ckdintercept. Accessed 08/2023

Disclaimer

This grant is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021. The views expressed in this material reflect the opinions of grant recipient authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CDC; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.