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Volume 9, Number 2Space holderJanuary 14, 2005
photo of Dr. Bessie Young
Dr. Bessie Young

Photo courtesy of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Bessie Young Honored for Work on Kidney Disease in Minority Community

Kidney specialist Bessie Young, clinical instructor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, was honored in December for her work on kidney disease in the African-American community.

Young was one of two recipients of the inaugural Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Community Action Award, which recognizes people and organizations making a difference in health-care access, education, and reduction of disparities in care. Safeway Inc. was the other award recipient.

Kidney failure disproportionately affects African-Americans. The prevalence rate among blacks is four times higher than among whites. Young, a nephrologist for Northwest Kidney Centers and a researcher at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, studies racial and ethnic differences in diabetic nephropathy and other diabetes complications.

Young organizes kidney disease screenings at African-American churches and health fairs, as well as the annual African-American Kidney Health Conference at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle. She also is a member of the Washington State Department of Health Kidney Screening Task Force.

The Safeway Inc. Charities of Choice program has raised more than $10 million in the past 10 years. The funds provide support for such organizations as the American Lung Association, LifeCenter Northwest, and the Fred Hutchinson Center. The Seattle division of Safeway Inc. recently gave $100,000 to UW Medicine to fund prostate and ovarian cancer research.

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