The Class of '69 gave $10,000 to the Dartmouth Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, desribed as follows:
Kidney diseases are one of the top leading causes of death in America and there is an alarming shortage in the current nephrology workforce. Kidney Disease Screening Awareness Program (KDSAP) at Dartmouth was founded in 2019 to combat this issue. KDSAP is the first organization at Dartmouth that combines a medical service opportunity with student career development. It is a chapter of the national organization Kidney Disease Screening Awareness Program, which was founded in Harvard Medical School in 2008. KDSAP partners with physician volunteers, Harvard Medical School, and Upper Valley community members to provide free kidney screenings to the underserved community around the Upper Valley area and Vermont.
KDSAP would use the grant to purchase screening equipment and supplies so that the kidney disease screenings could be conducted and students can be educated and equipped to combat the issues surrounding kidney health. All funding from the Class of ’69 would be applied to equipment for screenings, skills workshop, and outreach efforts in educating various communities in Dartmouth and beyond about kidney diseases. For example, the money from the Class of '69 would go into purchasing a Urinalysis Machine, Automatic Sphygmomanometer, Glucometer, urinalysis strips, lancets, bandages etc. (An itemized budget can be provided upon request). Most of the equipment are non-consuming and will be used for years to come to serve communities around the Upper Valley and educate students and other communities on the importance of kidney health and combating kidney diseases. Funding will also be earmarked in order to keep equipment up to date in the future.
KDSAP seeks to serve communities beyond Dartmouth. Through community outreach to the Upper Valley and Vermont, KDSAP will partner up with nephrologists from DHMC to provide kidney screenings. The screening composes of eight stations (registration; questionnaire; blood pressure; blood glucose; urinalysis; BIM; MD consultation; exit survey) The goals in doing so are to identify risk factors of kidney disease, which will lead to early referrals, and to prevent the development of kidney disease. The whole procedure is very secure as the Department of Public Health have given us a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) Certificate of Waiver. Materials used for screenings have been reviewed by the Institutional Review Board of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Not only will KDSAP serve the Upper Valley, it will also serve the Dartmouth community itself. Student career development is also one of KDSAP’s core mission. We want to equip and empower students in their knowledge of kidney disease as well as future careers. KDSAP will not only offer the screening itself, but also a Universal Precautions and Professionalism (UPP_ Training, Blood Pressure Training, and a skills workshop for operating glucometers and dipstick urinalysis. All of these trainings will be supervised by KDSAP physician advisors. There will be numerous speaker series and programs each semester that will expose students to health professions while facilitating the development of mentor-mentee relationships. All volunteer nephrologists are committed to mentoring Dartmouth undergrads. Students will also have opportunities to develop leadership skills, as they will organize and manage the screenings.
Currently, KDSAP has nephrologists who are willing to work with and train us, a site to conduct the screenings (a local church), and eager student volunteers. All we need is funding, and this grant would allow us to invest in student career development and serve the Upper Valley and Vermont area by providing kidney disease screenings, things otherwise not possible.
The Council of Student Organizations at Dartmouth rejected KDSAP’s request for funding to purchase the equipment because, according to them, the use of the funds for the greater community outside of Dartmouth violates their mission in only funding student activities. Other possible sources of funding have been unresponsive. This grant would make all the difference is and solve the only issue KDSAP currently has. We hope you consider funding this unique, inclusive, and immersive learning experience.
Jonah Levine ’20
Director of Health Education
Dartmouth KDSAP Executive Board