Important Milestones in NKF History

1950 — First meeting of the Committee for Nephrosis Research is held

1954 — First successful kidney transplant

1956 — Major national fund raising campaign raises a record $400,000

1960 — Invention of Teflon shunt marks beginning of dialysis treatment

1964 — National Kidney Foundation is officially named

1968 — First 13 NKF research fellowships awarded

1968 — NKF advocates for, and participates in, the drafting and passing of the 1968 Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and, in the following decades, distributes tens of millions of kidney donor cards throughout the country.

1972 — End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) benefit within Medicare is established, providing federal government financing for nearly all Americans with kidney failure, the only federally funded chronic disease care program to date

1973 — Council of Nephrology Social Workers is established

1975 — Council on Renal Nutrition is established; NKF annual research awards pass $1 million mark

1976 — Council of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians is established

1980 — Research grant programs instituted by NKF's Councils for nurses, dietitians and social workers

1981 — American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD), NKF's first scientific publication, launches

1983 — Powerful new anti-rejection drugs enable thousands more to benefit from kidney transplantation therapy

1984 — NKF establishes Research Endowment Fund to support research and training agenda

1984 — National Transplant Act passes with NKF's strong leadership

1987 — First NKF Young Investigator Grants awarded

1990 — NKF organizes the US Transplant Games in Indiana; NKF annual research funding passes $2 million mark

1992 — NKF's 1st Spring Clinical Nephrology Meetings

1995 — NKF's Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI®) launches, establishing clinical practice guidelines to improve patient care in key areas

1997 — NKF's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP®), designed to detect kidney disease at its earliest stage, is developed; NKF annual research funding passes $3 million mark

2002 — Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO ®) is created, developing and promoting clinical guidelines worldwide

2002 — NKF's opposition to financial incentives for organ donation leads to defeat of this controversial provision in Congress

2003 — NKF's Kidney Learning Systems (KLS) launches, providing comprehensive educational tools about Chronic Kidney Disease

2005 — NKF's patient empowerment and advocacy group is established

2005 — NKF celebrates first "World Kidney Day"

2006 — NKF Secures Congressional funding for a CKD Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

2007 — NKF launches the Take Action Network to support our advocates' efforts

2007 — NKF announces plans to double the annual research budget over the next five years

2007 — NKF's KEEP program US screens 100,000th person

2008 — Kidney patients score a victory when Congress overrides a presidential veto and passes the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.

2008 — After severe flooding in the U.S., NKF provides financial assistance to help patients get to lifesaving dialysis treatment and to rebuild their homes.

2009 — The ADA recognizes NKF KEEP as a “Promising Practice” to help combat diabetes in minority populations.

2009 — During the economic downturn, many patients and families are financially strained. NKF steps up to provide more than $4 million in assistance.

2009 — “Ask the Doctor” online forum with Dr. Leslie Spry is launched.

2010 — KEEP screenings reach 200,000 people.

2010 — NKF joins the National Salt Reduction Initiative, along with more than 45 organizations and nationally recognized brands, to combat dangerous levels of dietary sodium.

2011 — NKF copes with the global financial downturn, continuing to provide abbreviated services, its full support for CKD patients and families, and finding ways to do “more with less” during this period.

2012 — NKF launches the PEERs patient mentoring program.

2012 — NKF’s Kidney Living, a magazine for dialysis patients, debuts.

2013 — ”Your Kidneys and You” a new community-based educational initiative is launched; trained volunteers deliver presentations to members of the general public throughout the country.

2013 — is the highest ranked website in searches for kidney disease, accessed by 4 million constituents.

2013 — NKF meets with key members of the federal government to ensure that the Affordable Care Act meets the needs of people with kidney disease.

2014 — NKF launches a ground-breaking interactive web portal and mobile app, My Food Coach, to help patients with all stages of CKD navigate the complexities of a healthy renal diet.