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Professional EventsEnding Disparities in CKD in Illinois

ending disparities in ckd in illinois

Held June 27, 2023

Held virtually & at University of Illinois Chicago Student Center West

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about this initiative

planting seeds of change

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a major public health issue that is underrecognized and underdiagnosed. Of the estimated 1.4 million adults in Illinois with CKD, 177,680 adults are aware that their kidneys are impaired.  While anyone with diabetes or hypertension is at risk for developing CKD, communities of color are disproportionately impacted by CKD.


The goal of the Ending Disparities in Chronic Kidney Disease in Illinois initiative is to implement strategies that will guide healthcare leaders in Illinois in driving a cultural shift in primary care, toward increasing the early diagnosis and management of CKD, especially in high-risk populations in Illinois.


The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois collaborated with leaders and change-makers from various organizations in Illinois to convene four working groups to identify successful strategies and develop recommendations to improve primary care management of CKD. The working group recommendations will be used to compose the statewide strategy.


Through these collaborative efforts our ultimate goal is to ensure that every person living with CKD has the information and support they need to live long, productive lives.

For More Information


Please contact Amanda Grandinetti

email:  |  phone: (312) 321 - 1500  x 258


overview of the summit

executive summary & workgroup recommendations

The goal of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’s (NKFI) Ending Disparities in CKD Leadership Summit is to drive a cultural shift in primary care toward increasing the early diagnosis and management of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Using the Collective Impact model as a framework, NKFI convened stakeholders from across health care delivery, payers, public health, and the community to develop and advance equitable strategies to improve CKD testing and diagnosis in primary care across the state.   
Through a series of Learning and Action Workgroup discussions stakeholders identified barriers and solutions to improve CKD awareness, detection, and management in Illinois. 38 stakeholders representing 29 organizations across the region participated in the workgroup discussions. 

Results of the Discussions:  
Barriers to CKD testing, diagnosis, and management 
Knowledge and Awareness:
There is a general lack of CKD knowledge and awareness across multiple stakeholders. Among the general public and patients, the precursors of CKD are unknown. Therefore, patients are not knowledgeable when to get tested, and even if patients are tested, they are not equipped with the chronic disease self-management tools needed to handle their diagnosis. Patients are in need of better access to information or tools to help manage medications, navigate referrals to specialists, and make diet or lifestyle changes to manage CKD. Challenges with health literacy and navigating a complex health system compound this issue. 
The lack of knowledge and awareness does not only apply to patients but also clinicians. Within a community context, there is often a cultural disconnect between patients and providers. This spans across different communities as well, as they have different barriers to access to care. In a clinical context, primary care clinicians identified lack of awareness for CKD care guidelines as a barrier as well as a disconnect between quality metrics and patient care goals pertaining to CKD.

Health Care Systems and Structures: Participating group members agreed that providing the best care to patients is done most effectively with an interdisciplinary team. Stakeholders identified fragmentation in the care team as a barrier. Staffing limitations in different parts of the care team affect this issue, as well as the baseline knowledge of CKD amongst each of these roles. 
Clinicians identified specific barriers in their role being low utilization of the eGFR (estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate) equation – a tool used to estimate kidney function, as well as lack of data or benchmarking on CKD testing rates among at risk individuals. This affects the utilization of proper testing needed to diagnosis CKD. The challenges of implementing a value-based care or other payment model were also discussed within the workgroups. 

Lack of Resources for CKD Patients: During the workgroups, a lack of resources for CKD patients was identified as a major barrier to care. Social determinants of health, such as economic stability, transportation, and others, prevent patients from seeking adequate care or managing their health conditions, but clinicians don’t always have the resources or bandwidth to provide referrals. Additionally, it was identified that resources, treatment, and care options are not discussed in depth with patients. Therefore, there is a general lack of awareness of available resources or information for patients with a CKD diagnosis. 



a roadmap for illinois

Increasing Public Awareness and Understanding of CKD

  • Expand engagement with diverse stakeholders in the community to develop awareness messages and CKD educational content.

    • Assess the community knowledge of kidney health and the effectiveness of existing content and delivery of CKD education.

  • Utilize the Collective Impact model to engage a wide group of partners in the implementation of a CKD awareness campaign strategy.

  • Partner with community organizations to develop a cadre of trusted CKD ambassadors to disseminate CKD information and resources.

    • Develop a train-the-trainer approach to support these organizations and CKD messengers.

Clinician and Health Care System Opportunities

  • Increase primary care team knowledge and capacity to support CKD testing, diagnosis, and management.o    

    • Create (or promote) educational opportunities to increase clinician knowledge about CKD and CKD management in primary care.

    • Utilize systems change approaches to optimize workflows and technology in primary care settings to facilitate testing.

  • Build Capacity and Opportunities to Integrate Community Health Workers into primary care settings to support care coordination, patient education, and self-management.

  • Expand engagement with “non-traditional”, community-based care providers including faith-based organizations, pharmacies, community centers, and food banks to support CKD testing and management.

    • Determine the clinical and health education services provided by these organizations.

    • Identify opportunities for testing at these sites or referral to labs/other health care facilities for CKD testing.

    • Increase linkages from CKD resources and educational tools to primary care to ensure management of CKD.

  • Develop and deploy tools to optimize the EMR for CKD testing, diagnosis, and management.

    • Create a coalition amongst health care systems and health information technology and electronic health record (EHR) software to create standard tools.

    • Encourage adoption within large medical institutions in the region.

Building the Case and Changing the Conversation

  • Develop a workgroup to create a CKD data story/dashboard for Illinois.

    • Leverage state or local Illinois data and research on diagnosis, disease progression, disability/work force implications, progression, and death to tell the story of CKD and need for intervention. 

  • Demonstrate Return-on-Investment for earlier detection and management of CKD.

    • Provide tools for organizations (health care, employers, payers, or otherwise) to build the business case for earlier interventions in CKD.

Leveraging Policy, Payment, & Quality Measures

  • Increase awareness and prioritization of quality measures that encourage CKD testing and early diagnosis.

    • Increase awareness of Kidney Health Evaluation HEDIS and MIPS measures and impact of score on overall ratings, reimbursement etc.

  • Develop composite quality measures/measure sets that will capture quality CKD care in early stages.

    • Advance funding and reimbursement models to support primary care capacity, especially to support deployment of CHWs or others to care coordination and patient support.​

program chairs

thank you to our program chairs

We would like to thank the NKFI CKDIntercept Conference Chairs, Dr. Phyllis Hayes (Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Engagement at UI Health) and Emily Cooper (Vice President, Programs, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce) for their leadership in furthering the success of this collaborative initiative.

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Phyllis P. Hayes, EdD


Dr. Phyllis P. Hayes has been an educator in the Chicagoland area since the age of twenty-one where she began her teaching career as a special education teacher with Chicago Public Schools in 1978. She considers herself a dedicated educator and community leader who always strives to “improve the quality of life” for those in need. Throughout her career, she prides herself with experience in, administrative and program management, governmental relations, public policy, strategic planning, health and wellness initiatives, fundraising, grant writing, research, evaluation and assessment, budgeting, collective bargaining, and the implementation of online education across the curricula.

Dr. Hayes has a passion for improved educational systems which include; access, diversity & inclusion, human development, healthcare improvements for communities of color, economic empowerment, along with focusing on the rights of the working-class, underserved, and poor. She is the founder of the University of Illinois Chicago – CHANCE Program and co-founder of the UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement. Her personal goal is to provide an avenue for communities of color to achieve their educational endeavors while preparing themselves for a “fruitful” life. 

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Emily Cooper


As a nonprofit leader, thought leader, and program creator with over 10 years of experience, Emily Cooper is passionate about building programming and partnerships that center equity, expand inclusion in the workforce, and help participants gain the skills and access they need to have a successful career.

As the VP of Programs, Emily is the thought leadership of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. She drives engagement in the Councils and member programs, including Chicago at a Crossroads, Emerging Leaders, Healthcare and Technology Councils, Mid-Market Chicago, and our talent and industry-specific programs. She has grown membership in programming, created a professional development skills program series with Microsoft, and strives to create a culture that aligns with the Chamber's values while helping Chicago businesses thrive, scale, and increase diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business.

Conference Chairs
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