April 10, 2017
RVH chosen for first wave of provincial kidney transplant initiative
Renfrew Victoria Hospital is among the first 13 sites in the province selected to implement a strategy to increase living donor kidney transplants.
The Ontario Renal Network (ORN) and Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) are working together to ensure “there is an integrated, person-centred collaborative kidney care continuum in Ontario,” states the letter received on March 1 from Dr. Amit Garg, Provincial Medical Lead, Ontario Renal Network.
The aim of the collaboration is to increase the annual rate of living donor kidney transplants by 20% by 2021, and it will involve all 26 renal programs in Ontario, with the remaining 13 sites joining two in September 2019.
Dr. Amtul Musawir, Nephrologist and RVH’s lead physician on the Access to Kidney Transplant & Living Donation project says the team is excited to be a part of this provincial initiative.
“We have always been passionate about kidney transplant. It is truly a team effort, involving all levels of patient care. From identifying suitable patient to booking various tests, organizing appointments and arranging transportation. Our efforts are rewarded when our patients are able to avoid dialysis and lead a normal life after transplantation.”
She adds, “This particular initiative will provide education and remove barriers from living kidney donation. We can help a lot more patients if they can get kidney from family and friends rather than waiting on a list for deceased donor.”
Arlene Deloughery, RVH Peritoneal Dialysis Program, explains, “Kidneys provided by living donors are associated with better outcomes for our patients. Our role in this initiative will be to increase awareness for not only our patients who are facing renal replacement therapy, but also to educate the general population about being a living donor. Our nephrology team will work on this initiative to help patients through this process, such as overcoming obstacles like ‘the big ask’, and the advantages of a living kidney donation. With the use of patient ambassadors as part of our process, the personal testimonies of other patient experiences will hopefully give a perspective to our patients that the health team cannot. Through this project our goal, as always, is to provide the best quality of life for our patients. We are excited to have been chosen for the opportunity.”
The strategy includes initiatives in the areas of quality improvement, education (and education toolkits), patient and family support and engagement, and performance monitoring.
Each regional renal program and affiliated transplant program, along with patients and families, is required to establish a local Quality Improvement Team to support the strategy.
Some members of RVH’s Quality Improvement Team—Arlene Deloughery, RN, Peritoneal Dialysis Program Leader, Joanne James, Medical Secretary, Joanne Vandekemp, Medical Secretary, Linda Papineau, RN, JoanAnn Purcell, RN, Pembroke satellite unit, and Janice Verch-Whittington, RN, Clinical Manager Nephrology—participated in a Quality Improvement Training Session in Toronto on March 27–28.
Patient and Family Advisors Roger and Vickie Remus are also very important members of the team, providing input and sharing their experiences from their perspective.
"Vickie and I were pleased to be included on the RVH team and mix with other participants in the new provincial strategy session. We are looking forward to sharing experiences and local awareness about kidney transplantation, within the program, with any and all who will listen," says Roger.
“The training session was a very good team building opportunity, and a good kick-off for the work we have to do over the next year,” confirms Verch-Whittington.
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