State Senator Malcolm A. Smith Urges Governor Pataki To Approve Kidney Transplant Program For The Queens Community

Malcolm A. Smith

January 13, 2006

State Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens) today released a letter he wrote to Governor Pataki urging approval of NSUH’s application to create a kidney transplant program that would serve the Queen’s community.

"The fact that there is still not one single kidney transplant program in either Queens or Nassau counties, illustrates the need to establish one as soon as possible. For my constituents, who need kidney transplantation, their only option is to travel to another county to receive the medical care they require. I have written to Governor Pataki imploring him to approve NSUH’s application so that we can finally bring a much needed kidney transplant program to Queens," said Senator Smith.

Senator Smith noted that while there are currently 21 operational dialysis centers throughout the Queens area, there is still a deficit of transplant programs.

"I am confident that NSUH is more than capable of operating a successful kidney transplant program, that would be beneficial to countless individuals in Queens. It is vital that we do all we can to improve health care services, especially transplant services, said Senator Smith.

According to the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), there are approximately 20 million people in the United States that suffer from kidney disease. By 2010, an estimated 661,330 people will have kidney failure.

"The national cost of treating patients with kidney failure is more than $20 billion annually. If detected early, kidney failure can be treated, which is why it is crucial for patients to have access to kidney transplant programs. The addition of a kidney transplant program in Queens would save lives. I hope that Governor Pataki realizes the urgency of this situation and moves quickly to approve NSUH’s application so that my constituents can receive the critical care they need," said Senator Smith.