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The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan engages in innovative programming and research focusing on preventing kidney disease and improving the quality of life for persons with kidney disease.  Our research agenda includes behavioral interventions, survey research and policy change and is conducted in collaboration with leading universities, health care organizations and community-based partners.  All projects are under the guidance of the NKFM’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Innovations in Health Care Awards

Each year the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and its partners offer awards for innovative treatment or prevention programs at the Lansing Champion of Hope Tribute Dinner. The awards are presented to programs across the state that stimulate change, awareness, or improve quality of healthcare. Applicants from the healthcare sector, community at large, educational systems, and health plans are encouraged to apply. Find out more by contacting Kathy Heselschwerdt at 734-222-9800 or kheselschwerdt@nkfm.org.

Cherry Health Poster Presentation

Primary Care Snapshots

“Primary Care Snapshots: Management of Chronic Kidney Disease” are five, short videos designed to offer providers quick, pertinent and practical information on the clinical management of CKD.  The series is based on the book, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Clinical Practice Recommendations for Primary Care Physicians and Healthcare Providers, 6th Edition, and hosted by the book’s editors and authors Drs. Gregory Krol and Jerry Yee.  The video series was developed as a component of a National Association of Chronic Disease Directors demonstration project with technical assistance and support from the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases section.

Below are links to the videos on the NKFM YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/KidneyMI.

Community Health Workers

The NKFM developed the Healthy Hair program in order to train African Americans about their risks for diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease and to encourage healthy behaviors.  The campaign trains African American hair stylists to promote healthy behaviors with their clients through a “health chat” and by providing diabetes and hypertension risk assessment information.

Madigan ME, Smith-Wheelock L, Krein SL. Healthy hair starts with a healthy body: hair stylists as lay health advisors to prevent chronic kidney disease. Prev Chronic Dis. Jul 2007;4(3):A64.

Disease Self Management

In September 2007, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) and its partners initiated Healthy Communities Start with You (HCSY), a multifaceted, community-based disease self-management and risk reduction program across Wayne County focused on delivery of four evidence-based programs to underserved women. HCSY was funded by the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) for three years, with the aim of working together to help women manage and prevent chronic health conditions through self-management and physical activity. HCSY partners provided interventions that address health disparities of women living in low-income, vulnerable communities across Wayne County, MI. Goals for the program were to use four evidence-based programs to serve Wayne County residents:

  1. Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT)
  2. Personal Action Towards Health (PATH) also referred to as Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self Management Program (DCSMP)
  3. Tomando Control de su Salud (TCDSS)
  4. EnhanceFitness (EF)

Peer Mentoring

Peer mentoring is a clinical program fostered by the National Kidney Foundation which trains individuals on dialysis or who have been transplanted to support and empower others facing similar life challenges with chronic renal failure.  The 8-16 hour training focuses on communication skills, self-awareness, values clarification through lecture, role play, and exercises.  Peers provide a believable role model [of a new possible chronic illness narrative] that chronic illness does not have to intrude forever upon their quality of life.  Peers provide to other patients a credible authoritative social support system, often even more powerful than family, in empowering them to take on life with chronic kidney disease

Kapron K, Perry E,  Bowman T, Swartz RD. Peer resource consulting: Redesigning a new future. Advances in Renal Replacement Therapy. 1997, 4: 267-274.

Perry E, Swartz J, Brown S, Smith D, Kelly G, Swartz R. Peer mentoring: a culturally sensitive approach to end-of-life planning for long-term dialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis. Jul 2005;46(1):111-119.

Perry E, Swartz R, Smith-Wheelock L, Westbrook J, Buck C. Why is it difficult for staff to discuss advance directives with chronic dialysis patients? J Am Soc Nephrol. 1996 Oct;7(10):2160-8.

Perry E, Buck C, Newsome J, Berger C, Messana J, Swartz R. Dialysis staff influence patients in formulating their advance directives. Am J Kidney Dis. 1995 Feb;25(2):262-8.

Swartz RD, Perry E, Brown S, Swartz J, Vinokur A. Patient-staff interactions and mental health in chronic dialysis patients. Health and Social Work. May 2008;33(2):87-92 

Gender-based Analysis

Utilizing Findings from a Gender-Based Analysis to Address Chronic Disease Prevention and Management among African-American Women in a Michigan Community. Authors from the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan published a research note describing how findings from a gender-based analysis revealed a host of unmet needs impacting women in Inkster, MI.  This research note, which appears in the journal Evaluation and Program Planning, underscores the importance of including strategies to address gender-based disparities when planning and implementing community health improvement programs.

Organ Donation

Healthy Hair Starts with a Healthy Body®

Summary: We randomized salons, with primarily African American clientele, to a four-session, stylist-delivered health education program that discussed nutrition and physical activity (comparison) or a four-session brief motivational intervention that encouraged organ donation (intervention).  Intervention stylists received four hours of training in organ donation education and Motivational Interviewing/counseling. Organ donation was measured by self-report questionnaire at 4-month post-test as well as verified enrollment in the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Through the program, we reached 52 salons and 2,789 clients in three urban areas – Metro Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids/Muskegon.  Clients of hair stylists trained to provide brief motivational intervention for organ donation were approximately twice as likely to enroll in the donor registry as comparison clients. This study was supported by Grant no. R39OT04109 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation.

Resnicow K, Andrews, A.M., Beach, D.K., Kuhn, L., Krein, S.L., Chapman, R., Magee, J.C. Use of hair stylists as lay health advisors to increase organ donation in African Americans: results of a randomized trial. Ethn Dis. 2010;20(3):276-281.

Living On Through Love

Summary: The Body & Soul: Living on Through Love project was offered in African American churches to increase organ and tissue donation, as assessed by Michigan Organ Donor Registry data, among African Americans in Michigan.  We trained lay church members, termed peer leaders, to give a presentation about organ and tissue donation and show a DVD tailored to the African American church community.  Churches also held a variety of events to encourage people to sign up on the registry, with a particular focus on National Donor Sabbath in November.  We reached 1,254 members of 22 churches in Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties with our survey.  This study was supported by Grant no. D71HS08574 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation.

Resnicow K, Andrews AM, Zhang N, et al. Development of a Scale to Measure African American Attitudes toward Organ Donation. J Health Psychol. 2012;17(3):389-98.

Andrews AM, Zhang N, Magee JC, Chapman R, Langford AT, Resnicow K. Increasing donor designation through black churches: results of a randomized trial. Prog Transplant. 2012; 22(2): 161-167.

Take The Pledge to Save Lives

Take the Pledge to Save Lives is an innovative program focusing on members of Black Greek Letter Organizations. The focus of Take the Pledge to Save Lives is to increase the number of individuals who sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry while increasing awareness about diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease in the African American community. The program is offered to members of participating alumni chapters of African American sororities and fraternities.  During the project, we train sorority and fraternity members, called peer leaders, to discuss chronic disease prevention and organ donation with fellow sorority/fraternity members in their chapter.  This study is supported by Grant no. R39OT15484 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation.

A Gift For All: Everyone Has Something To Give

The NKFM is conducting A Gift for All in collaboration with Greenfield Health Systems (GHS), Henry Ford Health System, Gift of Life Michigan, and the University of Michigan. The objective of this study is to use peer mentor to inform dialysis patients about their option to donate their organs and tissues after death by signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.  Staff at twelve GHS dialysis units in Southeast Michigan will receive training in organ donation. Dialysis units will then be randomized to an intervention or control group.  ESRD patients in intervention units will be assigned peer mentors and meet 7 times over a 4 month period utilizing a mix of in-person and phone contacts.  Peer mentor-patient meetings will cover coping with chronic illness and leaving a legacy in relation to deceased organ donation and signing up on the Donor Registry.  Patients in comparison units receive mailings about donation and the Donor Registry.  This study is supported by Grant no. R39OT18281 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation.

The outcomes article entitled “A Clustered Randomized Trial Informing Patients on Dialysis About Their Ability to Donate Organs and Tissues” has been published in the journal Progress in Transplantation.  The research study was funded by the HRSA Division of Transplantation and conducted by NKFM, Greenfield Health Systems, Henry Ford, and Gift of Life Michigan/MOTTEP.  Through this study we evaluated the impact of having peer mentors talk to individuals on dialysis about signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.  The odds of signing up for on the donor registry among patients who met with a peer mentor (intervention group) were 2.52 times greater than patients who received a mailing about organ donation (control group).

Andrews AM, Zhang N, Haney Smith A, Loughery C, Resnicow K, Chapman R, Jenkins Riley H, Stav S, Yee J. A Clustered Randomized Trial Informing Patients on Dialysis About Their Ability to Donate Organs and Tissues. Progress in transplantation. 2020.

Leave A Legacy of Life

Leave a Legacy of Life aims to educate participants in health workshops about organ and tissue donation and the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. This program is led by the consortium of the NKFM, Gift of Life Michigan/ MOTTEP, and the University of Michigan. It includes a 1.5-hour “Bonus Session” that is integrated into two health workshops: Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) and the Diabetes Prevention Program. Since this is a research study, workshops are randomized to control or intervention groups. Intervention workshops receive organ donation education, while control workshops receive information on another health topic. At the Intervention Bonus Session, lay leaders called Donation Advocates provide information about organ and tissue donation, share their story, and offer participants the opportunity to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. For the Control Bonus Session, participants will select a health topic from a menu of options. Our primary outcome is rate of registration on the Donor Registry, compared between control and intervention groups. We will also evaluate participants’ attitudes about organ donation through pre and post surveys. From 2015 through 2017, we plan to reach participants in over 150 workshops. This study is supported by Grant no. R39OT26992 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation.

Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries. Health inequities occur because of the complexity of society and the domino effects that can result when basic foundations of education, health care, and financial security are fragile or absent.  The NKFM has received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and the Office on Women’s Health which focus on social determinants of health. View the work these community coalitions are accomplishing.