Take time to talk about kidney health with your faith community.
Increasingly, people are turning to places of worship to get accurate, useful information about issues that uniquely affect African Americans. Kidney health is one of those issues because kidney failure affects African Americans more than other groups. African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are at high-risk for developing kidney failure. This risk is due in part to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in these communities. African Americans are almost four times as likely as Caucasians to develop kidney failure. And, while African Americans make up only about 13 percent of the population, they account for 32 percent of the people with kidney failure in the United States.
Kidney Sundays is a great opportunity to raise awareness within your faith community about the risks for kidney disease and the importance of getting tested. The Kidney Sundays Toolkit provides faith-based organizations with the tools and materials they need to include kidney health messages in programs and events. The materials are easy to use in a wide variety of settings with your organization. In fact, they can be used by anyone who wants to have a conversation about kidney disease with their friends, family, co-workers, or community group outside of a faith-based setting.
Help your faith-based family protect its kidney health. Help make the kidney connection.How To Get Started
Making the Kidney Connection is easy. Kidney Sundays can be an important initiative for your congregation. The information can help members with risk factors for kidney disease to learn how to better protect their kidneys.
And you don’t have to be a health expert to share this information with your congregation. Kidney Sundays can be tailored to meet your organization’s needs and opportunities. You have to power to encourage our loved ones to get their kidneys checked. You have the power to be better educated. And you have the power to make the kidney connection.
Kidney Sundays sessions and conversations may be held any day of the week—immediately following weekend services or during the week. The most important thing to remember is you need to pick a day when many people can attend. If you would like to hold a conversation about kidney health, follow these steps:
Find Kidney Sundays Champions to Host a Conversation about Kidney Disease. During a service, health ministry meeting, or faith-based committee group meeting, announce that you have the Kidney Sundays Toolkit and would like to recruit a health champion to host a conversation about kidney disease. The Toolkit provides all that the champion needs to host this discussion. Find a champion in your congregation and get them excited about kidney health. This will make it easier to start the conversation. And remember, this person does not have to be a health expert to lead the conversation. He or she just needs to be excited about sharing health information.
Hold a Conversation about Kidney Disease using the Talking Points. Before scheduling a discussion session, review the Make the Kidney Connection Health Conversation Talking Points (see page 12) to help you lead it with ease. Below are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for the kidney disease discussion with your faith-based family:
Make your faith-based family feel comfortable. Do not force the conversation if someone is not open to discussing his or her health. Share your experiences to make them feel a little more comfortable. Offer examples of how you, or someone you know, have managed diabetes or high blood pressure. Try relating the information to topics that have been discussed at services or other meetings.
The Kidney Sundays initiative can be tailored to your faith organization. If you cannot hold a conversation, you just may hand out some of the materials to your congregation. You may set up a table in the lobby of your faith organization with a display of materials, or you may place a brochure or informational card into the weekly Bulletin. Another way to get the information out is to put an article in your organization’s newsletter or email. If you hold a conversation, be sure to have materials on hand to pass out. NKDEP offers a host of brochures and informational pieces through the online Resource Center.
Hand out the Kidney Disease, Diabetes & High Blood Pressure Fact Sheets. The fact sheets provide answers to common questions about kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. They explain symptoms, risk factors, and prevention tips, as well as where to go for more information. Be sure to offer fact sheets to individuals you meet with and distribute them during your group conversation. The Talking Points in this Toolkit tell you when you should hand out the fact sheets during a conversation. You also can direct your faith-based family to the NKDEP website for more information.
Hand out the What African Americans with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure Need to Know brochure. This brochure provides information about kidney disease and its connection to diabetes and high blood pressure and the importance of getting tested. Use the brochure to guide the conversation and give it to participants to take home.
Distribute the Make the Kidney Connection Outreach Informational Card. The Informational Card explains the risk factors for kidney disease and the importance of getting tested. It also highlights NKDEP’s Family Reunion Health Guide, a booklet that helps families talk about kidney disease at family reunions (www.nkdep.nih.gov/get-involved/kidney-connection/family-reunion.shtml). You can insert the informational card into your faith-based organization’s Bulletin to be distributed during worship service. This will give you the perfect opportunity to introduce Kidney Sundays during announcements and promote any upcoming Kidney Sundays sessions you are planning.
Distribute the Make the Kidney Connection Food Tips and Healthy Eating Ideas. Learn how to eat healthy with the Make the Kidney Connection Food Tips and Healthy Eating Ideas. This handout provides information on reducing portion size and choosing healthier food options. When preparing for your conversation about kidney disease, print copies of the food tips and healthy eating ideas to distribute to participants.
Distribute the Chronic Kidney Disease: What Does it Mean for Me? brochure. If you have members of the congregation who have been told they have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you can help them learn what this diagnosis means, and learn what it means for their health and their life. People with CKD can and should continue to live their lives in a normal way: working, enjoying friends and family, and staying active. They also need to make some changes. This brochure will help answer some of the questions they might have.
Make the most of your Kidney Sundays experience by adding other activities. Expanding the activities with the congregation makes a more meaningful and educational experience. These activities may take place immediately before a Kidney Sundays conversation, or be held by themselves.
Engage Local Health Experts to Conduct a Health Screening. Look into having local nursing students or health care facilities conduct screenings for kidney disease, blood pressure, and diabetes as part of the Kidney Sundays experience. The screenings may be held as part of health fairs or picnics your congregation already conducts. You also may partner with other organizations on health initiatives. Be sure the screening partner has a list of health care providers in the area to pass along to anyone who may need follow-up service. Health screening partners may include:
Engage Local Food Experts to Conduct Food Demonstrations. Encourage members of your congregation to prepare a meal from the healthy recipe links and bring samples for a tasting with the group, or recruit local dietetics students to conduct food demonstrations. This will be a treat for participants as they begin their journey to healthier eating. Visit the following websites for recipes and healthy eating ideas and information:
For additional tips and healthy eating ideas, visit the NKDEP Resource Center.
1. Do something you enjoy. Dance to the radio. Plan active outings with a friend, family member, or group.
2. Form a group of people to walk, jog, or bike together. Working out with videos in your home, or walking in a shopping mall also are fun.Share Your Ideas
3. A little activity goes a long way. Do 10 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity three times a day.
4. You can be active and still keep your hairstyle. Talk to your hair stylist about a hair care routine and style that fit your active life.
5. Park your car farther away from entrances of stores, movie theaters, or your home and walk the extra distance when it is safe to do so.
6. Do physical activities you really like. The more fun you have, the more likely you will do it each day.
7. Set both short-term and long-term goals to keep motivated.
8. Put more energy than normal into activities like housework, yard work, and playing with the kids.
9. Did you know? A modest weight loss of 5 to 7 percent—for example, 10 to 15 pounds for a 200-pound person—can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes. Get active.
1. When eating out, have a big vegetable salad—easy on the dressing, then split an entrée with a friend, or have the other half wrapped to go.
2. Try lower-sodium versions of frozen dinners and other convenience foods.
3. Rinse canned vegetables, beans, meats, and fish with water before eating.
4. Keep a bowl of fruit on the table, bags of mini carrots in the refrigerator, and boxes of raisins in the cupboard. These are simple ways to eat more fruits and vegetables.
5. Try not to keep a lot of sweets like cookies, candy, or soda in the house, car, or workplace. Too many sweets can crowd out healthier foods.
6. If you do go to a fast food restaurant, try a salad or a grilled chicken sandwich (not fried) instead of a burger.
7. Encourage members of your place of worship to bring healthier food options to events.
8. Add some fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to your cereal. You will add some sweetness to your breakfast while sneaking in a serving of fruit.
9. Instead of french fries, try mashed potatoes made with fat-free milk, or have a baked potato topped with a vegetable or fruit salsa.
10. Dessert doesn’t have to be off limits, as long as it’s a part of a healthy meal plan or combined with physical activity.
11. Focus on whole grain carbohydrates since they are a good source of fiber and they are digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.
12. Fight hypertension! Reduce your sodium and opt for lower-sodium food choices.
Page last updated: September 7, 2012