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Fresenius Medical Care North America Celebrates National Kidney Month with Donations of $195,000 to Support Educational Efforts and Home Dialysis Awareness

WALTHAM, Mass., March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation's leading provider of kidney care products and services, has announced a 2019 commitment of $195,000 to support nonprofit patient education programs that help people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) make informed treatment choices, including transplant and home dialysis. National Kidney Month is celebrated every March and seeks to raise awareness about CKD, which impacts 1 in 7 adults in the United States. 

Recognizing that home dialysis offers patients greater independence, convenience and health, FMCNA is donating $65,000 to support the Medical Education Institute's (MEI) home dialysis awareness forum and other programming. An additional $130,000 contribution will help fund the Renal Support Network's (RSN) efforts to promote a dialogue with patients and their families about living well with CKD.

"We are committed to empowering people living with kidney disease to thrive and succeed with treatment options that fit their lifestyles and personal values, recognizing that transplant or home dialysis is often the best option, as well as supporting education and models of care that slow progression of the disease," said Bill Valle, chief executive officer of Fresenius Medical Care North America. "We are proud to sponsor these organizations that provide important support and hope to people living with kidney disease."

The donation to MEI will help fund Home Dialysis Central, a website that empowers patients to consider home treatments, as well as the organization's Life Options website, which supports people living with CKD before they need a transplant or dialysis.

"We created these websites to give people with kidney disease hope for a good life, and engage them in their care to produce better health outcomes," said MEI's Executive Director, Dori Schatell, MS. "We truly appreciate this donation—and the opportunity it creates to build on our efforts to create safe, supportive places for people to find answers, slow CKD progression and make treatment choices that will give them the best possible lives if their kidneys do fail."

The donation to RSN, a patient-run organization that provides nonmedical services to individuals living with CKD, will support educational content such as its KidneyTalk podcast, Patient Educational Meetings, Annual Essay Contests, the Bi-Annual Live & Give Newsletter and the Annual Renal Teen Prom. These initiatives help educate and empower individuals to take control of their disease so they can live the best life possible.

"We appreciate Fresenius Medical Care North America for their generosity," said Lori Hartwell, the founder of RSN who was diagnosed with CKD at age two in 1968. "I have survived this illness for 50 years. Their partnership is vital to ensuring we can fulfill our mission of providing hope, education and making a lasting and positive difference in the lives of people with kidney disease."

As part of the company's support for educational efforts during National Kidney Month in March, Fresenius Kidney Care has also launched an awareness campaign to spread the word about the importance of early detection by encouraging family members and friends of patients to be screened for CKD. The campaign includes direct communication within dialysis centers, through social media and online. Learn more by visiting FreseniusKidneyCare.com/kidney-awareness.

About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) is the premier healthcare company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities, outpatient cardiac and vascular labs and urgent care centers, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated healthcare services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world's largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at https://fmcna.com.

About Medical Education Institute   
Founded 25 years ago in 1993, MEI is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with chronic diseases learn to manage and improve their health.  MEI fulfills its mission by conducting research, developing evidence-based educational materials for consumers and health professionals, and advocating for patient-centered policies.  MEI is funded through corporate sponsorships, fee-for-service contracts, product sales, and donations. Tax-deductible contributions can be made through MEI's website, www.mei.org.

About the Renal Support Network
The Renal Support Network (RSN), a national 501(c)(3) was founded by Lori Hartwell. RSN empowers people in all stages of chronic kidney disease and their families to become knowledgeable about their illness, proactive in their care, hopeful about their future and make friendships that last a lifetime. Learning from another patient's experience and point of wisdom to navigate care is vital for success. RSN's hopeful and life-enriching, patient-centered programs help people who have kidney disease and their families know they can survive and thrive with this illness. Learn more at www.RSNhope.org.

Media Contact:
Fresenius Medical Care North America

Brad Puffer
Director of Public Relations
brad.puffer@fmc-na.com  
(781) 699-3331

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SOURCE Fresenius Medical Care North America