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Kidney Smart: Create an Action Plan to Manage Your Kidney Health
By Daniel Casciato

One in 10 adults over the age of 20 has kidney disease. Most are unaware of their condition, as the disease is often symptomless until its late stages. A kidney disease diagnosis may feel overwhelming, but early education can help patients overcome those fears and feel more prepared. In a no-cost Kidney Smart® class, patients get information to help them create a plan that's personalized to their lifestyle and will help them manage their kidney health. These 90-minute classes are led by specialized instructors, such as nurses and dietitians.

Educators guide patients through their personalized action plans and share:

  • What causes kidney disease and how to delay its progression
  • What diet resources are available to help patients manage their diet and cook a variety of flavorful, kidney-friendly meals
  • Why continuing to work may keep patients happier and healthier
  • How insurance counselors can help patients navigate any coverage or financial questions

"Kidney Smart educates over 22,000 patients every year through our national network of over 2,000 educators," said Veronica Garza, Kidney Smart educator. "This program empowers patients with tools and resources that help them live a better quality of life while managing kidney disease."

Kidney Smart graduates are twice as likely to start dialysis with their preferred access in place. Access for dialysis can be made through a vascular access catheter, an arteriovenous (AV) graft, or an AV fistula. Each of these types of access can support hemodialysis. Some patients select peritoneal dialysis (PD), which would require PD catheter placement. Thus, the type of dialysis and the patient's physiology can determine the best choice of access, which is critical because that selection can reduce hospitalizations associated with infections. Moreover, Kidney Smart education helps patients in choosing the best treatment for their lifestyle. By educating patients on all treatment options, patients have the knowledge to choose the treatment that is right for them.

There are several causes of kidney disease. Diabetes is the No. 1 cause of kidney disease, responsible for approximately 44 percent of all kidney failure cases. Diabetes and high blood pressure are sometimes called "silent killers," because many people don't know they have these diseases; therefore they are not getting treatment. Uncontrolled diabetes and/or uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Below are facts to note:

  • Six percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, the number one cause of kidney disease
  • One in four Americans has high blood pressure, the second leading cause of kidney disease
  • African Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and seniors (those 65 and over) are at increased risk of developing kidney disease

Kidney Smart classes are open to the community and hosted in cities across the U.S. Online classes are also available for those who prefer learning from home at KidneySmart.org.

Please call 1-(888) MY-KIDNEY or visit KidneySmart.org for more details. Call (855) 205-5615 or visit DaVita.com to learn more about local Davita centers.

Kidney Education Classes Take control of your kidney health by attending a 90-minute Kidney Smart® class led by expert educators in your community. RSVP at kidneysmart.org/class or call 855-343-4951

  • DaVita Northside Clinic - 930 Madison Ave; Pittsburgh (2:00 P.M.)
    November 5; December 3; January 7
  • Moon Township Public Library - 1700 Beaver Grade Road Ste. 100, Moon Township
    October 27; November 19; December 10 -2:00 P.M.
  • Allegheny General Nephrology Associates - 320 E North Ave 4th Floor South Tower
    November 4 - 1:00 P.M.
  • Davita Waynesburg - 248 Elm Drive, Waynesburg,
    October 19 – 2 PM; November 23 - 2 PM; December 14 – 4 PM
  • Davita Jefferson - 14 Clairton Blvd (Rt 51) Pittsburgh
    November 3 – 11 AM; December 1 – 11 AM
  • Pittsburgh Center of Excellence, 5171 Liberty Ave, Suite A, Pittsburgh
    November 4 – 4 PM; December 2 – 10 AM
  • Davita Monroeville - 2690 Monroeville Blvd, Monroeville
    November 10 – 1 PM; December 8 – 5 PM
  • Destination Wellness at Pittsburgh Mills Mall - 590 Pittsburgh Mills Circle, Tarentum
    November 10 – 1 PM; December 8 – 1 PM
  • Davita Oak Springs - 764 Locust Avenue, Washington
    November 11– 2 PM; December 9 – 2 PM
  • Davita Lincoln Way - 1303 Lincoln Way, Suite A, White Oak
    November 12 – 2 PM; December 10 – 2 PM

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