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March Partner Spotlight

The National Kidney Disease Education Program Showcases NDEP Materials in its Annual Kidney Sundays Event

The National Kidney Disease Education Program Background

The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) is a federally sponsored program that works to reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among communities most impacted by the disease. Established in 2000 by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NKDEP aims to raise awareness among people at risk for CKD about the need for testing and educate people with CKD about how to manage their disease.

Outreach and Promotions

NKDEP uses the National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) messages and materials as part of its Kidney Sundays public awareness event, which was developed to educate African Americans about kidney disease and its key risk factors, like diabetes and high blood pressure. The National Kidney Disease Education Program African Americans are a critical audience for kidney health messages because they are almost four times as likely as Caucasians to develop kidney failure.

Kidney Sundays leverages the growing tendency for African Americans to turn to places of worship to get accurate, useful information by bringing kidney health messages to the faith community. Because high rates of diabetes among African Americans contributes to their elevated kidney failure risk, messages about diabetes prevention and control are central to the Kidney Sundays program. Undiagnosed or untreated diabetes is a major cause of CKD. However, by managing diabetes, African Americans can lower their risk for CKD and other diabetes complications.

To help raise awareness of these diabetes messages, NKDEP distributes numerous NDEP materials, including 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life, Choose More than 50 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, Did You Have Gestational Diabetes When You Were Pregnant? What You Need to Know, and more, to more than 85 participating places of worship. Additionally, NKDEP and NDEP collaborate to promote the Kidney Sundays event through a variety of channels. NKDEP posts messages about the event and related partner materials, including NDEP’s, on its Make the Kidney Connection Facebook page, and NDEP shares Kidney Sundays information through its Facebook page, Twitter feed, and News & Notes partner e-newsletter.

On March 2, 2014, in recognition of National Kidney Month, the National Kidney Disease Education program hosted its third annual Kidney Sundays event at more than 85 places of worship across the country.

Results and Lessons Learned

Kidney Sundays events in 2012 and 2013 engaged more than 420 African American faith communities across the country, reaching more than 335,000 congregants, to dedicate a day to talk about kidney health, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Over 6,000 blood pressure screenings were conducted and more than 200 people were referred to local area diabetes prevention and control programs for further evaluation. The Kidney Sundays events have supported the distribution of 130,000 kidney health-related materials from NKDEP and other NIDDK programs, including nearly 25,000 NDEP materials in 2013 alone.

For more information about the National Kidney Disease Education Program’s activities, contact Eileen Newman at

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