End-stage renal disease (ESRD) – also known as kidney failure – is not reversible. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation spread about the disease and treatments. As such, the ESRD Network 18 of Southern California works to promote positive change within the medical communities that serve patients with chronic kidney disease. This includes dialysis, a treatment ESRD patients rely on to stay alive.

About this specific effort, Eileen Rhodes, Patient Services Director for Network 18 said, “We’re trying to get the word out that dialysis is not giving up. It’s lifesaving care. It’s choosing to live.”

This July, Network 18 held their annual conference where CCCC’s medical director, Lael Duncan, MD, presented. Her talk “Honoring Patient Wishes: Advance Care Planning for Patients with Late Stage Kidney Disease” was delivered to a group of social workers and others associated with kidney disease treatment throughout southern California.

The conference focused on the need for improved communication among the ESRD community. Rhodes agrees that an active dialogue among patients, their families and medical professionals are critical in efforts to improving quality of care for patients with kidney disease.

Network 18, alongside CCCC and other leaders in palliative care, continues to encourage the alignment of healthcare with the needs of those who are critically ill and the conversations that make that possible. Rhodes adds, “Keeping our patients, providers, and communities informed and connected ensures the continuation of care for all involved.”

ESRD Network 18 provides support and guidance to more than 53,000 Southern Californians who are dependent on medical treatment of kidney disease. Facilitating the federal end-stage renal disease (ESRD) program through Medicare and Medicaid services, Network 18 strives to improve the quality and affordability of patient care within the 375 dialysis facilities and transplant centers located throughout their territory.

We’re grateful for the efforts of ESRD Network 18 and look forward to working with them in the future. To learn more about what they’re doing in Southern California, you can visit their website here.

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