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Kidney Health Australia - Media Releases

Health groups welcome cross-party commitment on health checks

The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance welcomes support by the Australian Government and the federal Opposition for a Medicare item to prevent and manage vascular disease - heart, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes. Funding for an integrated health check has also been backed by the Australian Greens.

Alliance members, including the National Heart Foundation, Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Australia, Kidney Health Australia and Cancer Council Australia, have long championed integrated health checks to stem the tide of Australia’s chronic disease burden.

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said investment in comprehensive health checks would encourage people to consider their health before a crisis.

“Chronic diseases affect half of the Australian population and are the leading cause of death in Australia,” said Ms McGowan. Download Media Release

New data highlights social inequalities in chronic disease

New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that the gap between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups continues to widen for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Rates of heart attack and stroke increased with socioeconomic disadvantage, as did the number of people living with diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said that the data revealed stark inequities in health status amongst Australians.

“While there have been some improvements in recent years, these are not reflected across the board. Lower levels of income, education, housing and socioeconomic area are all aligned with poorer health,” said Ms McGowan. Download Media Release

12 December 2018: Protect our children - chronic disease groups support calls to restrict junk food advertising

Junk food advertising to children urgently needs to be better regulated. That’s a recommendation from the Senate report on obesity, released last night, and a message that the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance strongly supports.

Chair of the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance Sharon McGowan said limiting unhealthy food marketing would reduce children's exposure to unhealthy food and its subsequent consumption.

“Unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Preventing obesity in children is particularly important, as it is difficult to reverse weight gain once established,'' Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said one in four children are already overweight or obese, and more likely to grow into adults who are overweight or obese with greater risk of chronic disease. Download Media Release

14 November  2018: Greens Prevention Policy to Support Health from Childhood

The Victorian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (VCDPA) welcomes the Greens’ commitment to programs to prevent chronic disease and support child health.

Almost nine out of 10 deaths in Australia are due to chronic diseases and conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and kidney disease.

However, approximately one third of these cases could be prevented by addressing modifiable risk factors, including tobacco, alcohol, poor diet, physical inactivity and an unhealthy weight.

The VCDPA welcomes the action to support people to make lifestyle changes, saving lives and reducing health system costs, both now and in the future. Download Media Release

25 October 2018: Kidney Health Australia to Develop New Renal Guidelines with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Kidney Health Australia has been commissioned to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in developing kidney health guidelines to improve their kidney health outcomes.

In receiving more than $300,000 in Government funding, Kidney Health Australia’s CEO Chris Forbes said, “We are honoured to receive the funding and gratefully acknowledge the Minister of Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM’s support in delivering better treatment options and a healthier future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples." Download Media Release

15 October 2018: Kidney Health Australia officially opens new Kidney Transplant House in South Australia

People living in rural areas that require lifesaving kidney transplant surgery will now be able to recover at a new home away from home in Kent Town, Adelaide.

On Monday 15 October, Kidney Health Australia will officially open South Australia’s first Emorgo Kidney Transplant House with a special screening of the documentary ‘Dying to Live’ at the Adelaide Film Festival. Download Media Release

2 October 2018: Kidney Health Australia Welcomes New CEO

Commencing 8 October 2018, the Kidney Health Australia Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Forbes as Kidney Health Australia’s CEO.

Chris has occupied various executive roles including Chief Commercial Officer at Swimming Australia, and Chief Executive Officer at Ticketmaster Australasia. With leadership and CEO experiences across commercial and not-for-profit sectors and proven success in transformation, Chris will ensure the sustainability and growth of Kidney Health Australia. Download Media Release

4 September 2018: Governor General Celebrates 50 Years of Kidney Health Australia 

As Patron of Kidney Health Australia, His Excellency the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Lady Cosgrove, hosted a large contingent of the kidney community at Admiralty House on Monday, 3 September to celebrate 50 years since its foundation in 1968, and to present two significant awards: the Mark Colvin Scholarship in partnership with the ABC, and the Kincaid-Smith Medal to acknowledge an outstanding contribution to kidney disease research. Download Media Release

23 August 2018: Walk to Fight Kidney Disease

Across the country, Australians from all walks of life will unite on foot to raise awareness and
money to support people living with kidney disease, their families, and people at risk of developing
kidney disease.

Now in its seventh year, thousands of people have already signed up to participate in walks
across five major cities in September, and more than 20 individuals and groups will be hosting
their own Big Red Kidney Walks in regional and remote Australia. 

Kidney Health Australia’s Clinical Director, Dr Shilpa Jesudason said “Our message is as critical as
ever. The growth of the Big Red Kidney Walk is a result of the devastating effect undiagnosed
kidney disease can have on individuals and their families." Download Media Release

3 August 2018: Kidney Health Australia Awards $250,000 in Research Grants

Kidney Health Australia has relaunched its medical research program and has proudly presented $250,000 in grants to five successful applicants across the categories of basic science, clinical and psychosocial research.

Kidney Health Australia has a long tradition of supporting kidney research, raising and distributing more than $30 million towards kidney research in Australia over the past 50 years. Download Media Release

17 July 2018: Funding Announced for Kidney Disease National Strategic Action Plan

Kidney Health Australia will receive $170,000 from the Turnbull Government for the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for kidney disease. The Plan will contain guidance, goals and identify specific actions to achieve goals for kidney disease care.

Over 60 Australians die every day with a kidney-related disease. Approximately 1.7 million people in Australia are living with chronic kidney disease, including more than 11,100 people who have received a kidney and over 12,700 who undertake dialysis treatment.

To tackle these statistics, under the Plan Kidney Health Australia will identify existing kidney disease initiatives and build upon gaps, needs and opportunities. Download Media Release.

13 July 2018: Kidney Heath Australia to Develop Pioneering Youth Program

Kidney Health Australia has received funding of $800,000 from the Australian Government to develop a ground-breaking program to support young adults living with advanced kidney disease.

The much-needed program will focus on providing peer support and education activities for the estimated 700 young people aged 18 to 24 living in Australia, who are going through the difficult transition from paediatric care to adult clinical health settings.

The shift from paediatric to adult health care is challenging for young people, their families and health care workers. Teenagers and young adults have the worst outcomes after a kidney transplant of any age group under 70, with approximately a third of their kidney transplants failing within five years. Download Media Release.

2 July 2018: Big Red Kidney Bus Arrives in Port Macquarie

The Big Red Kidney Bus, a mobile dialysis unit which allows people living with kidney disease to go on holiday, has arrived in Port Macquarie.

The NSW Big Red Kidney Bus will be located at the NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park until 28 July 2018, offering families and individuals from around Australia the opportunity to meet up with the bus, continuing their dialysis treatment at no cost, whist on holiday. Download Media Release.

29 June 2018: ABC and Kidney Health Australia Launch Inaugural Mark Colvin Scholarship

The ABC, in partnership with Kidney Health Australia, has called for applications for the inaugural Mark Colvin Scholarship, to commemorate the life and work of the esteemed ABC journalist, broadcaster and presenter.

Applications are open until 13 July to entry-level journalists or those from non-traditional journalism backgrounds with a demonstrated passion for quality reporting and excellence in storytelling. Download Media Release.

28 June 2018: New Big Red Kidney Bus Launches in Victoria

Kidney Health Australia, Monash Health and the Rotary Club of Croydon are delighted to have united for the launch of a new, upgraded Big Red Kidney Bus, at Croydon, Victoria, on 26 June 2018.

The Big Red Kidney Bus is one of two state-of-the art mobile dialysis unts that travel to popular holiday destinations across Victoria and NSW. The program allows people living with kidney disease to go on holiday and meet up with the buses to continue their life-saving treatment, at no costs to patients. Download Media Release.

1 May 2018: Kidney Health Australia Welcomes Federal Government Announcement to Fund MBS Item Enabling 'On Country' Dialysis

Kidney Health Australia welcomes the announcement that the Federal Government will be funding a Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) item which will enable ‘on country’ dialysis for Australians living with end-stage kidney disease in very remote areas. Download Media Release.

Kidney related disease kills more Australians each year than breast cancer, prostate
cancer and road accidents combined, yet awareness of this silent killer remains low
according to Australia’s leading kidney health organisation.

Kidney Health Australia Interim CEO Lisa Murphy said while one in three Australians is at increased risk of developing kidney related disease, and over 60 are dying with kidney related disease every day, most are tragically unaware they have it until it is too late. Download Media Release.

8 January  2018: Kidney Health Australia Announces Departure of CEO

Ms Mikaela Stafrace, the Chief Executive Officer of Kidney Health Australia has resigned from her role, effective 18 December 2017.

Ms Stafrace joined Kidney Health Australia as CEO in September 2016. During her time with Kidney Health Australia, Ms Stafrace achieved a number of major successes to support people whose lives are affected by kidney disease.  

“The Board of Kidney Health Australia thank Ms Stafrace for her leadership, dedication and contribution across the last 18 months to the organisation, and to the community affected by kidney disease. We wish her well in her future professional endeavours”, said Professor Carol Pollock, the Chair of the Board of Kidney Health Australia. Download Media Release


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