The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has announced the appointment of Jaime Herrera Beutler, former U.S. Congresswoman and Washington state legislator, to its National Board of Directors.
“We are very excited that Jaime has joined the NKF Board of Directors and brings over 15 years of knowledge and expertise in building and leading bipartisan coalitions that delivered key legislative victories for maternal healthcare, environmental protection, energy, timber, and medical care for children,” said Tracy McKibben, Chair of NKF’s National Board and a living kidney donor to her mother. “Jaime brings experience in bridging the gaps between policies and laws around healthcare and the families they impact. She also has a very inspiring connection to kidney disease. We look forward to working with her as we build greater awareness of kidney disease and ways to achieve optimal kidney health.”
Herrera Beutler currently serves as a strategic advisor to the Children’s Hospital Association, providing insight on key issues such as Medicaid investments, youth behavioral health crisis, pediatric workforce, and the care of children with rare medical conditions. She also recently completed a residency fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics – established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy – where she provided mentorship to students across disciplines and led discussions on the importance of leadership and service during times of deep national division.
Herrera Beutler served as the U.S. Representative for Southwest Washington’s 3rd district From 2011-2023, where she was a nine-year member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and a leading voice in health, energy, and financial services subcommittees.
Herrera Beutler is the mother of a miracle child, Abigail, as her first daughter was born in 2013 at 28 weeks and was not expected to survive due to a rare condition known as bilateral renal agenesis also known as Potter’s Syndrome, a condition caused when kidneys fail to develop in utero. Despite the devastating prognosis, Herrera Beutler and her husband fought and learned of a simple treatment (saline injections into the womb) that ultimately made their daughter the first child to survive this diagnosis. After three years on dialysis and although both parents were a match, Abigail’s father wanted to be her kidney donor.
“As the mother of a child that received a kidney transplant before she was three years old, I feel blessed that my husband was able to provide our first-born daughter with the gift of life,” said Herrera Beutler. “I’m honored to join NKF’s Board of Directors and share my story and expertise with the largest kidney organization in the country because far too many people knowingly and unknowingly struggle with kidney disease.”
As a result of their inspiring story, Herrera Beutler is a strong supporter of kidney patients – she introduced the Living Donor Protection Act, Legislation to expand Medigap insurance coverage for patients living with end-stage renal disease, and Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act (the ACE Kids Act).
In the United States, more than 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.
About National Kidney Foundation The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org