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Video of Dr Falk’s Presential Address from November 1, 2012 features lecture “Time to Cure Kidney Disease.”

UNC Kidney Center Director Ronald J. Falk, MD, FASN delivered the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Presidential Address on November 1, 2012 during the morning session at the annual ASN Kidney Week 2012, held in San Diego, California. Dr. Falk thanked and acknowledged the accomplishments of ASN committees, task forces, boards and advisory groups for their roles in supporting the many various missions of the society.

Addressing the topic, “Time to Cure Kidney Disease,” Dr. Falk led his audience on a journey that began in 1972 when then President Richard Nixon signed the Social Security Amendments authorizing the End Stage Renal Disease program under Medicare. That legislation was based on a report written by the late Dr. Carl Gottschalk, a UNC faculty member and Past President of ASN. At that time, the artificial kidney was only available to those who could afford it or those deemed “treatable.” It was believed that dialysis would occur for a short period of time and then the patient would be cured by transplantation.

Now forty years later, that vision has partially evolved in the US and much of the developed world where state-of-the-art dialysis is now available to all. Dr. Falk’s address asked caregivers to refocus attention on the basic principles of Dr. Gottschalk’s report—restoration of health, science and discovery, prevention and treatment. He discussed the five general areas in which ASN and the kidney community must focus in finding a cure, or restoration of health, for patients with kidney disease, and the challenges that will likely be encountered in that forward journey.