Waltham, Mass. – April 25, 2018 – Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the leading provider of kidney care products and services, today announced the launch of the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation, a nonprofit created to address the environmental, social and economic conditions that increase the risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). FMCNA has pledged to match donations from its employees, medical staff and other individuals up to $1 million to fund the Foundation in its inaugural year.
“We strive to treat the whole patient — not just their condition — and recognize the unique role we can play in furthering the national dialogue around chronic kidney disease and transplant awareness,” said Bill Valle, FMCNA Chief Executive Officer and President of the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation. “When we look outside the walls of our dialysis clinics, we know we must help people at risk for developing kidney disease, and our new Foundation is a significant step toward that important, long-term goal.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 30 million people, or 15 percent of U.S. adults, are estimated to have CKD, with a higher rate of incidence among minorities, making kidney disease one of the leading causes of death in the country. The Foundation is focused on three key areas: kidney disease awareness, population health and childhood obesity, and transplant and donor awareness. By partnering with nonprofit organizations engaged in communities most at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure — two of the leading causes of kidney disease — the Foundation will also seek to address social factors that impact health outcomes including having access to healthy food and creating support for healthy lifestyle choices.
The Fresenius Medical Care Foundation was introduced on April 24 in Chicago at the company’s Clinical Leadership Conference with the help of America’s Got Talent runner-up and kidney transplant recipient, Angelica Hale, and the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters with their Some Playtime Is Necessary (S.P.I.N.) program. As part of the Foundation’s launch, FMCNA employees assembled 4,000 Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyle (HEAL) kits, which included items such as basketballs, volleyballs, dodge balls, soccer balls, footballs and air pumps. Approximately 400 Chicago Public School students received kits while participating in the event, with the remaining kits donated to children of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago (the Y). In addition, the newly formed Foundation will donate $50,000 to the Y in support of its Camp Duncan medical summer camp program for children with diabetes and kidney disease.
“The Y works to implement healthy living programming through holistic, collaborative approaches focused on nutrition, cooking, food access and active lifestyles – all tailored to meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve,” said Richard Malone, President and Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. “This generous gift from the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation will allow the Y to continue to build on our healthy living programming, particularly through challenging youth and teens with diabetes to reach their maximum potential, both physically and mentally.”
“Our goal is to get ahead of the curve to create a healthier generation of adults,” said Kim Sonnen, FMCNA Senior Vice President of Payor Relations and Communications and Chairperson of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “If we begin promoting a healthy, active lifestyle early in life, we may be able to reduce the prevalence of kidney disease. The behaviors that will help us down the path to prevention start when we’re children, which is why starting education at a young age is central to the mission of our Foundation.”