Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Grateful Nation Boston Marathon Team are committed to raising awareness of health care bias and promoting health equity in our communities. In 2013, we will continue to raise funds for the Healthy Champions Program at BIDMC-affiliate Bowdoin Street Health Center and the work of the Nephrology Division Research Team.
Our Nephrology Division Research Team is working to understand the high rate of kidney disease in people of African descent. We recently identified what we believe is the major factor explaining this disparity, a difference commonly found in one single gene, called APOL1. Kidney disease is five times more likely to affect African Americans than other groups of people, and our team is actively working to alleviate this epidemic. Almost 40% of kidney dialysis patints in the US are African American. Over the next three to five years, our goal is to use our findings as the basis to better understand, prevent, and treat kidney disease in African Americans. We are implementing a multifaceted approach (including both clinical and laboratory studies) to solving this problem. Our goal is to eliminate this enormous health disparity and improve the lives of a large number of individuals and their families.