National Kidney Foundation to Partner with Prominent Dialysis Chain

New York, NY (March 12, 1999) - In an effort to provide information and educational materials to a greater number of pre-dialysis and dialysis patients, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is launching a unique partnership with Renal Care Group (RCG), a Nashville, Tennessee-based national dialysis chain.

The two organizations will collaborate on this partnership, using many of the educational tools developed by NKF, including People Like Us, Live!, an interactive educational workshop; Peer Activity Lending Support, a patient mentoring program; and RISE, a program to encourage rehabilitation and empowerment. Additionally, educational tools and customer service programs developed by RCG will be utilized. The partnership will provide to the dialysis-dependent patients and their families information on optimal dialysis dose, nutrition, anemia management and coping. For patients with chronic renal insufficiency prior to their initiation on dialysis, the educational program will highlight the various treatment options available, including, home therapies and transplantation, as well as the timely placement of dialysis access. These programs are intended to increase the awareness of choices and increase the number of patients who will receive their therapy of choice.

In order to standardize the educational process, all the professionals who serve as faculty for the six-part educational workshop series will be trained by NKF as program providers. These programs will be made available to all interested patients.

"We were looking to increase the exposure and access to our educational programs and know that working together with Renal Care Group will afford us that opportunity," says John Davis, NKF Executive Director. "We believe that this partnership will provide a standard of quality patient education and emphasize patient choice and that ultimately, patient outcomes will be improved."

Says Raymond M. Hakim, M.D., Ph.D., RCG's Chief Medical Officer, "In our search for a patient education program, we have found NKF's programs to be a dynamic offering of unbiased information to patients. Patients who have completed People Like Us Live! have reported less anxiety and depression and a feeling of empowerment in terms of where to turn for resources, support and information. Several studies have also shown that with pre-dialysis education, a higher proportion of patients chose home therapies, which encourage patient independence, rehabilitation and empowerment."

The first series of programs will be held in Portland, Oregon, where the two organizations have a strong presence. Over the next two years RCG and NKF plan to expand the program to other regions where the two organizations have a strong local presence as well.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

Renal Care Group is an organization that serves approximately 14,000 dialysis patients in 22 states across the U.S. It is governed by nephrologists committed to optimal care, with an emphasis on continual quality improvement, staff education and encouraging patient empowerment through education and information. RCG seeks to achieve superior patient outcomes and to provide the best value in patient care.