By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff Writer

The Robert I. Schattner Foundation awarded The American Kidney Fund (AKF) with a $150,000 grant to help children living with kidney disease and provide financial support for low income dialysis patients in the D.C. area.

“The Foundation’s Board chose AKF for this gift as a meaningful extension of Dr. Schattner’s philanthropy and to honor Dr. Schattner by helping others who are living with kidney disease,” said Robert H. Sievers, treasurer of the Robert I. Schattner Foundation in a press release. “Though AKF helps thousands of patients nationwide, we know they also help many people right here in our backyard. We are pleased to know the Foundation’s gift will be well spent on programs that really make a difference in people’s lives.”

The Robert I. Schattner Foundation awarded The American Kidney Fund (AKF) with a $150,000 grant to help children living with kidney disease and support low-income dialysis patients in the District.  (Courtesy Image/Logo)

The Foundation’s gift will provide funding for three AKF programs in 2019:

  • The Safety Net Program provides grants to low-income dialysis patients to help pay for treatment-related costs that are not covered by health insurance. This includes things like transport to and from treatments, over the counter medications and other needs.
  • The Calendar Kids Art Program is an annual nationwide art contest for children and teens living with kidney disease.
  • The Summer Enrichment Program provides financial support to help children and teens with kidney disease attend specialty camps that offer all the fun of traditional camps and are also equipped with the facilities and staff needed to handle the unique medical needs of kidney patients.

The Robert I. Schattner Foundation, based in Rockville, MD, was established by Dr. Robert I. Schattner, a local dentist, inventor, businessman and philanthropist. Schattner died in 2017 from complications of kidney failure.

“We are so grateful to the Robert I. Schattner Foundation for its generous gift to help ease the financial and emotional burden of children and adults living with kidney disease,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “The Foundation’s gift will allow us to open exciting new avenues for the Calendar Kids Art participants to illustrate their journey with kidney disease, support summer enrichment activities for young patients and provide desperately needed funds to help dialysis patients in the Capital Region who have nowhere else to turn.”

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an often-preventable condition that can go undetected until it becomes life-threatening. As the leading nonprofit working on behalf of Americans with kidney disease, AKF has planned Kidney Month activities to inform and inspire at-risk individuals, policy makers and the public about kidney disease and living kidney donation.

Many of the 30 million people in the U.S. don’t even know they have the disease, so AKF is taking action to provide several engagements and tools to help DMV residents get tested and stay aware of their kidney health.

The AKF is offering several free screenings throughout the month of March in honor of Kidney Month.

In Washington, D.C., there will be free screenings at the AmeriHealth Caritas Nutrition Wellness Day (March 16), Children’s National Medical Center Health Fair (March 19) and Hoop for All Foundation Flag Football Tournament (March 23). In addition to the D.C. kidney health screening events, AKF will host a Kidney Month presentation at the Washington Senior Wellness Center (March 19). Through Know Your Kidneys™, AKF helps people understand their risk for CKD and the importance of early detection to slow down or prevent its progression to kidney failure.

There are also screenings in Richmond,VA (March 22-24) and the B’More Healthy Expo in Baltimore (March 16).

For more information about AKF Kidney month activities go to The AKF also has developed a quiz for people to learn what they may know and don’t know about kidney disease. To go to the quick click here, or go to