American Kidney Fund Launches Screening Program in New York City

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The American Kidney Fund today announced the launch of its kidney disease education and screening program in New York City.

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By expanding the MIKE program to New York City on a year-round, long-term basis, we hope to bring awareness of kidney disease to thousands of New Yorkers who are at risk and who may not know it

The American Kidney Fund today announced the launch of its kidney disease education and screening program in New York City.

The American Kidney Fund's MIKE program (Minority Intervention and Kidney Education) begins activities in the city with a free kidney disease screening today at St. Luke's AME Church, 1872 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 153rd St., from noon to 3 p.m.

Since 2004, the American Kidney Fund's MIKE program has provided free kidney disease screenings to nearly 20,000 people in Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The program also has provided screenings at the annual D-FERG Harlem Family Health Fair in New York City for a number of years.

"By expanding the MIKE program to New York City on a year-round, long-term basis, we hope to bring awareness of kidney disease to thousands of New Yorkers who are at risk and who may not know it," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund.

The American Kidney Fund's MIKE program, sponsored nationally by Amgen, operates in minority communities, forming partnerships with local organizations and conducting public awareness campaigns to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease.

In New York City, the American Kidney Fund's MIKE program will work in partnership with North General Hospital in Harlem. North General Hospital is providing laboratory services for the screenings, as well as appropriate follow-up to participants whose results indicate they are at high risk for kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease is a serious illness that is most often caused by diabetes or high blood pressure. About 26 million people are believed to have chronic kidney disease, but many don't know it because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When caught early, chronic kidney disease can be managed, and progression to kidney failure may be avoided. Members of ethnic minority groups in the United States are about 2 to 4 times more likely than non-minorities to develop kidney failure.

For a list of upcoming American Kidney Fund MIKE screenings in New York City, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org and click "Get Tested." The American Kidney Fund also offers a brochure series and a toll-free HelpLine (866-300-2900) to promote public understanding of kidney health.

The American Kidney Fund is the nation's #1 source of direct, treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients, and a leader in providing health education to people diagnosed with or at risk for kidney disease. In 2007, the American Kidney Fund provided $1.2 million in treatment-related grant assistance to kidney patients in the State of New York, and over $100 million in assistance to 68,000 kidney patients nationwide.

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Tamara Ruggiero
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