For outstanding work in fighting chronic kidney disease, Christiana Care’s Kidney Transplant Program has earned the National Kidney Foundation’s Bruce Zakheim, M.D., Memorial Legislative and Advocacy Award. The National Kidney Foundation serving the Delaware Valley (NKFDV) presented the award on March 6 at the 26th annual Kidney Ball in Philadelphia.
The award honors Christiana Care for its leadership in patient education, support services and community outreach.
A champion in the transplant and nephrology communities
Christiana Care “captures the true spirit of Dr. Zakheim’s efforts against chronic kidney disease by championing key issues in the transplant and nephrology communities with passion and quality leadership,” according to the National Kidney Foundation. Dr. Zakheim, a New Jersey nephrologist, was a leader in the region for caring for patients with chronic kidney disease.
“Christiana Care is grateful to the NKFDV for recognizing the outstanding care that our kidney transplant program brings to Delaware patients with chronic kidney disease,” says Virginia U. Collier, M.D., Hugh R. Sharp Jr. chair of the Department of Medicine.
Christiana Care and physicians from Nephrology Associates began the kidney transplant program in 2005. By October 2006, with a multidisciplinary team in place, the Christiana Care Kidney Transplant Program opened officially—the first adult transplant program in the state. So far, the program has completed 51 kidney transplants. More than 300 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant and 800 have received evaluation for transplant.
“This award is a remarkable achievement for a young program,” says John Swanson, M.D., chief of the Christiana Care Kidney Transplant Program. “Our leadership involves our neighbors, not just our patients. Advocacy and outreach are part of being at Christiana Care.”
The Christiana Care Kidney Transplant Program has taken a leadership role in education and outreach. The program holds classes for patients with chronic kidney disease and their families in different parts of Delaware twice a year, reaching 150 to 200 people each time. The program also participates in health fairs and screenings throughout the state.
‘Everyone contributes to what we do’
Stephanie Gilibert, M.D., Kidney Transplant Program medical director, says, “The entire practice is a multidisciplinary undertaking. Everyone contributes to what we do.” In 2008, to raise community awareness of the disease and the need for organ donation, the Christiana Care Kidney Transplant Program spearheaded Delaware’s first Kidney Walk. The walk was held again in 2009, and plans are underway for 2010’s walk.
To ensure all Delawareans have convenient access to excellent end-stage renal disease care, the program recently established a satellite clinic in Lewes, Del.