Kidney Health in the Community: How One Sorority is Making a Difference
Elcedo L. Bradley, RN, First Vice President, Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. knows the importance of health education in the community.
Nursing sorority Chi Eta Phi has community service initiatives across the country that focus on educating communities about critical health issues—high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and now through a partnership with the National Kidney Disease Education Program, kidney disease.
In partnership with NKDEP's Kidney Sundays national event, Chi Eta Phi members conducted 1,522 blood pressure screenings at 39 participating faith organizations across the country.
"Many of our members began blood pressure screenings at their own faith community events. Through our personal and professional networks, we've expanded our outreach initiatives," said Bradley who coordinated the sorority's participation in NKDEP's Kidney Sundays program this past March. "Now, our members are doing health screenings, blood pressure screenings, health education, and attending health fairs around the country."
You don't have to be a health expert to educate your loved ones and faith community about kidney health. Click here to download or order our Kidney Sundays toolkit, which was newly redesigned with input from Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. You can also contact NKDEP via email if your faith community is interested in participating in the 2013 Kidney Sundays event on March 3rd.
During the holiday season, some of Chi Eta Phi chapters, including Mrs. Bradley's in Los Angeles, focus on teaching people how to read food labels and how to be aware of the amount of sodium in everyday food items.
"We often hear 'I didn't know that, I've never read the label before.' We know the work that we continue to do in our communities is important," said Bradley.
Did you know that 44 percent of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes? November is National Diabetes Month and a good time to make the connection between preventing and managing diabetes to keep your kidneys healthier, longer.
Kidney Health Tips for People with High Blood Pressure or Diabetes
Diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney disease. If you have one of these conditions, you need to get checked for kidney disease. Here are a few additional tips to consider:
Manage your diabetes and keep your blood pressure at the level set by your health care provider. That means eating healthy and cutting back on salt. It also means being active and taking medicines as prescribed.
Get checked for kidney disease. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner it can be treated.
At your next health care visit, make sure you learn your blood pressure, GFR, the amount of albumin in your urine and your blood glucose