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Thankful Thursday: The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area

Community | SouthEast Bank | June 3, 2021

This week, we’re excited to recognize The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area! Founders Dr. Jackson Yium and Milli Yium brought nephrology, the branch of medicine that deals with physiology and kidney diseases, to the Chattanooga area in the 1970s.

After years of watching kidney patients faced with adjusting to life on dialysis or waiting for a transplant, the Yiums began The Chattanooga Kidney Foundation in 1981 as a chapter of the National Kidney Foundation. 

In October of 1989, the team shifted away from the larger organization to form The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area, an independent local nonprofit, which operates under the core belief that funds raised in the area should be put to work in the same place. 

The group placed a high value on financial assistance to patients, education and community screenings and developed organizational pillars based on these beliefs. Breaking away from the national organization took courage, but thanks to the community’s support, The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area has flourished over the last 30 years.

Today, the organization is the leading resource for kidney-related support in the State of Tennessee. Covering 11 counties in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area is a nonprofit organization that supports patients in need of dialysis or transplants. 

They offer a wide variety of services, including rent assistance, transportation grants, help with purchasing essentials like food and medicine, medical equipment, utility assistance and more. Their programming is designed to promote a high quality of life for patients, and the team is proud to consider any request that makes an impact.

Each year, The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area provides more than $140,000 in direct patient services along with community education and screenings. They look forward to another year of making a difference!

The team hosts many fun events during the year that appeal to different segments of the community. Chattanooga residents won’t want to miss their next major event, Big Hair Affair, being held on August 28th at the Walden Club. The event will feature a throwback night celebrating 1989, the year they became an independent organization. 

Visit for more information, to donate your time or resources, or to support an event.

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