When people work together toward a common goal, we can reach farther and make a larger impact than if we go it alone. At NIDDK, we see this in the laboratory, in the clinic, and in communities touched by the diseases we study. As you’ll read in this issue, we’re building healthier communities by putting this principle into practice in innovative ways.
Since the early planning stages, two large NIDDK-supported studies on kidney disease are being guided in part by people affected by the condition. Serving on community advisory councils, these patient representatives work closely with the research teams to share insight and expertise to collectively develop the study design, informed consent language, and more. Coretta Scott King said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Through the compassionate actions of the community council members in partnering with the scientific community, they are helping build research programs that could benefit their communities as well as the greater goal of improving health for all. Read the story here: Giving patients a voice in kidney research.
The strength of our communities is also reflected in how we recognize National Kidney Month. This March, we highlight the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease. Together with the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; nursing sorority Chi Eta Phi; and others, we reach millions of Americans to promote messages about preserving cardiovascular and kidney health. Read more about National Kidney Month activities in the Around the NIDDK and Health Information sections.
Building healthy communities includes building healthy and inclusive workplaces. In our Getting to Know profile, Dr. Susan Mendley from NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases, shares the importance of empowering new clinicians and researchers to foster inclusion among health care teams. And, as NIDDK launches its new planning process for an institute-wide strategic plan, we welcome and encourage your engagement and participation in helping NIDDK define its research vision and priorities for the next five years.
Through partnership and compassionate acts, we’re building healthier communities together.