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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Make The Kidney Connection News
August 22, 2011

Get your Loved Ones Screened at Family Reunions and Faith Events

NKDEP shares a few tips from the American Kidney Fund about holding kidney health screenings.


The summer season is quickly coming to an end, but family reunions and faith events are still running strong. These events present a great opportunity to talk about health—especially kidney disease. It’s important to have both healthy food options and activities that get everyone talking and moving. Whether it’s a health walk, a line dance, or a kidney health screening, the key element is that it starts a conversation. Through NKDEP’s partner, the American Kidney Fund, you can work to set up a free screening at your event.

An image of a woman getting her blood pressure checked.

This month, we spoke with T’Kia Stewart, Associate Director of Health Initiatives at the American Kidney Fund, about their kidney health screening program and how you can get them to come out to your next health event.

NKDEP: Tell us about your screenings program.

AKF: AKF conducts screenings through MIKE, the Minority Intervention and Kidney Education Program. MIKE partners with public and private organizations, including community and faith-based groups, to provide education, screenings, and follow-up services for people who are most at risk for kidney disease. Because diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease, our screenings test for high blood pressure; and in some locations, we can do a finger stick glucose test to provide blood sugar results immediately.

NKDEP: At what type of events do you hold screenings? Are there any guidelines?

AKF: The MIKE Program is a health outreach program that targets African Americans, Hispanic-Latinos, Asians and Native Americans. In the past, we’ve worked with family reunion coordinators, faith-based ministries as well as major community health programs, even hair salons and barbershops.

AKF does require that at least 50 people are pre-registered to be screened at each event. And individuals must be 18 years or older to be screened.

NKDEP: How much does it cost an organization or a family to host a MIKE screening at an event?

AKF: MIKE Screenings are free to participants.

NKDEP: Does AKF offer screenings nationally or only in select cities?

AKF: The MIKE program currently serves communities in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Chicago. AKF does have a national program, the Prevention Tour, that works with partners nationwide to provide free educational materials and kidney health screenings at large events in cities that include: Philadelphia, PA; Greenville, SC; San Antonio, TX; Houston, TX; Memphis, TN; Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Cincinnati, OH; Minneapolis, MN; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Harrisburg, PA; Boston, MA; Hartford, CT and Denver, CO.

More information is available on our website http://www.kidneyfund.org/get-tested.

NKDEP: What should individuals know/what information should they have on hand before calling to request a screening? How much lead time is required?

AKF: Before contacting your local Associate Director, it’s best to have as much information about your event as possible, such as the information about who will be attending, location, date/time, anticipated number of attendees, any other participating organizations and groups, as well as space and logistics. Also, because health regulations vary in each state, it’s best if event coordinators ask their local associate director about specific requirements in their region. For example, some jurisdictions require licensed clinicians be on site during the event.

Event coordinators should call 3-6 months in advance, to give plenty of time to sort out event details.

Learn more and share the knowledge
Have an upcoming community event, health fair, or other gathering? Share NKDEP educational materials with your group. Visit the NKDEP web site to order FREE materials or call 1-866-4-KIDNEY.

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Page last updated: March 1, 2012