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DaVita Strives to Improve Quality of Life and Reduce Overall Costs of Kidney Care Through Community-Based Education
Date:6/23/2008

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- DaVita Inc., a leading provider of kidney care services for those diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and disease (CKD), recently introduced its EMPOWER program, a series of free community-based workshops that encourage CKD patients to take control of their health and make informed decisions about their dialysis care.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020729/DAVITALOGO)

Available in more than 40 locations throughout the U.S. and led by a team of DaVita(R) nurses, renal dietitians and social workers, EMPOWER uses a multidisciplinary approach to educate CKD patients about their disease, delaying its progression and the different treatment options available. Workshops also focus on preparing patients for life on dialysis, or a kidney transplant if needed.

The program's goal is to impact the lives of the more than eight million Americans living with Stage 3 and 4 CKD. To date, DaVita has also reached out to more than 100,000 Americans through its Kidney Education and You(R) program, which offers health education seminars and useful tools to help prevent kidney disease brought on by risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure.

"Education is one of the most powerful ways to help people with CKD," says Dori Schatell, MS, executive director of the non-profit Medical Education Institute. "Two different research groups have found that education is even more effective than nephrologist referral at slowing the progression of CKD, ensuring a planned (rather than emergent) dialysis start and even improving survival. The more opportunities patients have to learn about kidney disease, the better they can care for themselves -- and make treatment choices that will fit their lives and enable them to keep their jobs or continue other activities that are meaningful to them."

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SOURCE DaVita Inc.
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