A Special Tribute to Senator Orrin G. Hatch, National Kidney Foundation of Utah’s first Honorary Chairman

As Honorary Chairman of the Board of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, we honored Senator Hatch with the Gift of Life Award in 1988. He helped craft legislation that made kidney transplant and immunosuppressive drugs accepted therapies covered by private insurance and Medicare at a time people could either afford to pay out of pocket or could not receive these miracles of medical advancement. Here is an excerpt from the Program that is particularly relevant to all those who suffer kidney disease: “A night to honor Senator Orrin G. Hatch for his leadership in the US Senate establishing the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Act of 1983, his efforts in furthering funding for ongoing accessibility of immunosuppressive drugs, his strong commitment to biomedical research, his leadership in initiating and supporting health care legislation, continuing advocacy of home health care services. We salute you Senator Hatch for your compassion and dedication to better health care for all Americans.”

As Ronald Regan said of Senator Hatch on the occasion of his award: “Orrin is one of the most responsible, hard-working members of the US Senate. He lives right, he thinks right, and he cares deeply about the people who sent him to Washington. He is a representative the people of Utah can be proud of.”

This photo was sent to us yesterday by one of our NKFU&I staff members during a private tour of the United States Capitol Building. We are grateful to remember one of our first NKF of Utah champions because of what he did first and foremost, to promote and support organ donation and kidney transplantation as biomedical pioneer champion.

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