Kidney Citizen Issue 18 empowerment

In this Issue:

  • Knowledge to Empowerment
  • For Gene Blankenship, Family is Everything
  • Merida Bourjolly: Taking Control of Her Care and Finding Meaning Through Advocacy
  • Ask the Doctor
  • How Transplant Changed My Life Forever
  • DPC’s 2023 Advocacy Day
  • Kidney Friendly Recipes
  • DPC Raises Alarm on Health Workforce Shortages

President’s Message

Greetings to all of you reading our latest edition of The Kidney Citizen. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your support, particularly as we celebrate DPC’s 20th anniversary. It is our hope that the information, insights, and inspiration we share in this edition resonate with you and foster positive change in your lives.

At DPC, we empower patients, and The Kidney Citizen helps us advance that mission. As an End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patient myself, I know personally how challenging and overwhelming it can feel sometimes. That is why the information and resources we share in The Kidney Citizen are there to help light the way. In this issue of The Kidney Citizen, readers can find educational information from leading health experts, uplifting stories from other ESRD patients, updates about DPC’s legislative advocacy efforts, and more.

Kidney disease is a journey, and we hope that The Kidney Citizen provides you with the support you need, as we want you to live your best life. From basic healthcare information to online courses and personal counseling, the DPC Education Center works to provide the support kidney patients need to thrive. Kidney disease is not a death sentence – patients just need a little help along the way, and the DPC Education Center works to provide that helping hand.

Looking toward the future, we are excited to keep innovating and creating new tools for patients. We hope you will continue to read The Kidney Citizen and follow the DPC Education Center through our social media platforms for all of the latest information and educational opportunities.

Merida Bourjolly
President of DPC Education Center Board of Directors

CEO’s Message

We are thrilled to celebrate our 20th Anniversary at Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) this year. It has been an incredible journey, and we are so grateful for your efforts to help us grow into the organization we are today.

It is easy to forget that DPC was formed when a handful of dialysis patients came together to advocate for their care. They often felt ignored as transplant issues were the main focus of the kidney community at the time. So, to ensure that DPC always prioritized the needs of dialysis patients, our bylaws require the President, Vice President and a majority of our Board to be current dialysis patients.

That handful of dialysis patients has now grown into an extremely effective patient advocacy organization with 35,000+ members working together to advance public policies to improve their lives. I consider myself truly fortunate to work with so many amazing advocates on a daily basis, helping them tell their stories at the state and federal levels. We work to make sure that policy makers treat them like the extraordinary people they are and not just a line-item in the budget.

We continue to work to improve dialysis patient quality of life, by empowering patients through advocacy and education. So, ten years ago DPC’s patient-led Board voted to create our affiliate organization the DPC Education Center. They wanted DPC to remain focused on the difficult advocacy work that was necessary to move critical legislation. However, they felt it was equally important to educate patients and empower them in their own care, and they wanted the two organizations to stay focused on their work. The Board did not want DPC to try to do everything, just because it was gaining momentum.

Since that time, DPC’s Education Center has worked tirelessly to equip patients with the information and support they need to thrive. An ESRD diagnosis can be confusing and scary in equal measure, and we strive to clear the confusion. We provide pamphlets, one-on-one support, on-line tools and resources, as well as The Kidney Citizen magazine to connect with patients about treatment options, lifestyle management, and advocacy opportunities. Education empowers patients to confront important health decisions with confidence.

We want to give every kidney patient the medical and moral support they need to continue to live a good life. We have made significant progress, but there’s still much more work to do! Thank you for your continued support of DPC and the DPC Education Center. We look forward to building on our efforts. Let’s see what we can do together in 2024.

Hrant Jamgochian, J.D., LL.M.
Chief Executive Officer, Dialysis Patient Citizens