Michigan Medicine Receives CDC Funding to Continue Supporting and Improving the U.S. Chronic Kidney Disease Surveillance System

Supporting and Improving the U.S. Chronic Kidney Disease Surveillance System

October 13, 2021

The Michigan Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology recently received $6 million dollars in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support and improve the United States CDC Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Surveillance System from 2021-2026. This award represents a new phase in this project of national significance with Rajiv Saran, MD, MRCP, MS as its new Principal Investigator, as of September 30, 2021. Dr. Saran is the Florence E. Bingham Research Professor of Nephrology and Professor of Epidemiology who had previously co-led this project with Neil Powe, MD, MPH, MBA at the University of California, San Francisco since 2006.

The project’s new Co-Principal Investigators at Michigan Medicine include: Jennifer Bragg-Gresham, PhD, MS, Associate Research Scientist in Nephrology; Brenda Gillespie, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Associate Director of the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research; Tiffany Veinot, MLS, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Information Health Behavior and Health Education; and Amy Pienta, PhD, Research Scientist and Director of Business and Collection Development Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), Institute for Social Research.

The CDC CKD Surveillance System project team of experts from the Division of Nephrology and Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (KECC) also includes Debbie Gipson, MD, MS; Yun Han, PhD; William Herman, MD, MPH; Michael Heung, MD, MS; Hal Morgenstern, PhD; Caroline Richardson, MD; Vahakn Shahinian, MD, MS; Karandeep Singh, MD, MSc; Diane Steffick, PhDWilliam Weitzel, MD; and April Wyncott, MPH, MBA.

To further enhance the success of this project, the research team has established strategic partnerships with L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH at Duke University and the National Kidney Foundation (with affiliates in every state) with Medical Director, Joseph Vassalotti, MD.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a major public health problem affecting over 37 million people in the U.S. Most individuals remain unaware that they have the condition until it is too late to prevent its devastating consequences, such as premature cardiovascular disease and kidney failure.

Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations, and underserved communities in general, are especially vulnerable to CKD and tend to suffer faster disease progression and higher rates of complications. Early screening for the disease is not yet standard of care in clinical practice, even among those with well-recognized risk factors for the condition.

The CDC CKD Surveillance System has the crucial responsibility of monitoring geographic hot spots of the disease, reporting on data and trends from a variety of data sources, and stimulating policy action at the community and health system levels through relevant stakeholders.

“A high priority for us will be highlighting and addressing disparities and inequities across populations, geography, social, and environmental determinants of health as potential underlying risk factors for the development and progression of kidney disease,” according to Dr. Rajiv Saran.

Findings from the CDC CKD Surveillance System will continue to be of significant relevance to a wide variety of stakeholders including policy makers, health systems, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, health IT companies, health care providers, researchers and trainees in medicine, the social sciences, public health, data science and the environmental sciences, and patients and patient organizations.

“We are excited and thankful to be able to continue to enhance the impact of the CDC Chronic Kidney Disease Surveillance System,” said Dr. Saran. “The next 5-year phase of this project brings new and strategic partnerships, a multidisciplinary team, and a reenergized dissemination plan critical to the project’s success in raising awareness and improving the detection and care of those with kidney disease both in the U.S. and worldwide.”

Learn more about the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Nephrology and Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (KECC).