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Alaska Kidney Patients Association

Location & Contact:

325 E. 3rd Ave. Suite 201
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-333-2257
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Description:

In the last ten years, the number of Alaskans with End State Renal Disease (ESRD) has more than doubled. ESRD is the complete, or almost complete, failure of the kidneys to function. This kind of kidney failure is permanent. It cannot be fixed and you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.

Because of the alarming growth rate of Alaskans with ESRD, the Alaska Kidney Patients Association is committed to be part of the solution to prevent more individuals from becoming kidney patients. As the only kidney health organization in Alaska, the AKPA is stepping up to provide public education and kidney screenings to highlight kidney disease and its risk factors, along with promoting organ donation.

Kidney disease impacts millions of people worldwide. Diabetes is the cause of approximately 40% of all end stage kidney disease. According to the American Diabetes Association over 44,000 Alaskans have diabetes and one third do not know they have it. The second leading cause of kidney failure is high blood pressure. Kidney failure may require a patient to undergo dialysis treatment. Over 400 Alaskans are on kidney dialysis and that number has been steadily increasing annually. Some patients on dialysis could benefit from a kidney transplant.

There are nearly 100 Alaskans waiting for an organ transplant. With the current transplant rates only half of them will live to receive a transplant.

The History Of AKPA


2002
This group was originally an American Association of Kidney Patients. The group that eventually became the Steering Committee to create an AAKP chapter in Alaska first met in April of 2002 as a support group for patients and family members at the Anchorage dialysis clinic. There was ongoing discussion of an Alaskan AAKP Chapter. That group continued to meet semi-regularly, led by the dialysis social workers. Members of this group attended the AAKP conventions in 2003-2006.

2005
In May of 2005 we adopted the name Alaska Association of Kidney Patients and Supports, and decided that our immediate primary objective was to become an AAKP Chapter. The first community-wide meeting was held December 1, 2005. It was attended by 50 people. From this group of interested individuals we formed our 12 member Board of Directors.

2006
We subsequently received Chapter status from National on January 23, 2006. As the AAKP, we facilitated three education conferences, which included local and national. There were upwards of 300 participants that attended these conferences. We opened office space for patient support and administration. We have participated in Health Fairs, held several patient support events, and had visitations in treatment centers in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Wasilla. We continue to field multiple requests for kidney disease, treatment and transplantation information. Many of our transplanted members continue to give testimony of the value of organ donation and how their transplants have positively affected their lives.

2008
Effective 2008, AAKP National closed all of its chapters across the country. Our core group of original board members facilitated the symposium, picnic and holiday party in 2008.

On August 18, 2008, the Alaska Kidney Patients Association, Inc. was granted 501(c)3 status as an Alaskan non-profit corporation. The AKPA has no national affiliation. The AKPA facilitated two patient education symposiums, plus a member summer support gathering and a holiday support event. We address kidney disease in Alaska through our Patient Education Symposium and provide support, education, and networking to Kidney Patients with the twice yearly social gatherings.

The Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):
*26 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
*Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
*Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
*Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.
*Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
*Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.
*High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney disease.
*African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and Seniors are at increased risk.
*Three simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.

What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?


Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by doing the jobs listed. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage.

Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.

What are the symptoms of CKD?


Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:
*feel more tired and have less energy
*have trouble concentrating
*have a poor appetite
*have trouble sleeping
*have muscle cramping at night
*have swollen feet and ankles
*have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
*have dry, itchy skin
*need to urinate more often, especially at night.

Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:
*have diabetes
*have high blood pressure
*have a family history of chronic kidney disease
*are older
*belong to a population group that has a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians.

Photos

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  • Alaska Kidney Patients Association  - Community & Recreation - Non-Profit Organizations - Downtown Photo
  • Alaska Kidney Patients Association  - Community & Recreation - Non-Profit Organizations - Downtown Photo
  • Alaska Kidney Patients Association  - Community & Recreation - Non-Profit Organizations - Downtown Photo
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