American Kidney Fund's New Podcast "Strength in Caring" Offers Care Providers an Overview of Compassion Fatigue

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Today, the American Kidney Fund released "Strength in Caring," the second production in its kidney health podcast series. The podcast is an interview with Mark Meier, CEO of Equalicare and featured speaker at the American Kidney Fund's upcoming professional conference, "Strength in Caring: Taking Better Care of Others by Taking Better Care of You," to be held on August 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. As a former renal professional, Meier provides information and resources about compassion fatigue, which is defined as a state of exhaustion and dysfunction (biological, psychological and social) as a result of prolonged exposure to compassion stress.

Compassion fatigue is a very important issue to discuss in the renal community

Today, the American Kidney Fund released "Strength in Caring," the second production in its kidney health podcast series. The podcast is an interview with Mark Meier, CEO of Equalicare and featured speaker at the American Kidney Fund's upcoming professional conference, "Strength in Caring: Taking Better Care of Others by Taking Better Care of You," to be held on August 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. As a former renal professional, Meier provides information and resources about compassion fatigue, which is defined as a state of exhaustion and dysfunction (biological, psychological and social) as a result of prolonged exposure to compassion stress. Meier discusses why renal professionals are more likely to develop compassion fatigue, how to recognize it, and how to seek help if signs of compassion fatigue are identified.

"Compassion fatigue is a very important issue to discuss in the renal community," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Kidney Fund. "We want health care professionals to be committed to and concerned with their patients' well-being, but it is also important that care providers are taking care of themselves." Renal professionals are more likely to suffer from compassion fatigue and burnout because they have longer term relationships with their patients, and renal patients are often likely to be affected by multiple medical conditions and significant psychosocial problems.

The American Kidney Fund podcast series covers a variety of topics including kidney disease, associated risk factors, kidney health and diet information and the financial impact of kidney disease. A dedicated podcast webpage offers listeners an opportunity to enjoy the podcasts online and download them to an MP3 player or personal computer. The page also contains downloadable notes for each podcast that provides additional information and details on the featured topic.

View AKF Podcast Webpage: http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-health/podcasts/

About the American Kidney Fund:
The American Kidney Fund is the nation's No. 1 source of treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients and a leader in providing health education to people with or at risk for kidney disease. In 2008, the American Kidney Fund provided treatment-related grants to 75,000 kidney patients totaling more than $119.5 million. The American Kidney Fund reaches tens of thousands of individuals each year with information about kidney health; operates a kidney disease screening program in high-risk communities; and maintains a toll-free HelpLine (866-300-2900) which provides education about kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund is a six-time recipient of the highest "Four Star" rating from Charity Navigator; holds an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy; adheres to the National Health Council Standards of Excellence; and is a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.

Media Contact: Tenee M. Hawkins, Director of Communications, 301.984.6630 thawkins @ kidneyfund.org

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