Several years ago, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) instituted the Emergency Preparedness Initiative, a group dedicated to making sure systems were in place to help patients when an emergency interrupts access to care. “After several devastating hurricanes, the ASN recognized the need to have an oversight body that could coordinate activity on the ground, facilitate communication among providers and patients, and make sure supplies get where they are needed,” says Jeffrey Silberzweig, MD, who co-chaired the Initiative with Nicole Lurie, MD, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response during the Obama Administration, and the Keynote Speaker at our recent Symposium.
When the pandemic struck, Dr. Silberzweig was asked to Co-Chair the ASN COVID-19 Response Team with Alan Kliger, MD, from the Yale New Haven Health System. They convened four committees that have played a pivotal role in guiding the Nephrology community during the pandemic. “These committees provide an opportunity for sharing of information and for interaction at every level, from patients to providers, to staff, to government, and to manufacturers,” says Dr. Silberzweig. “They have been critical in helping our community quickly respond to needs as they arise and, ultimately, helping patients get the life-saving care they need.”