Improving Health, Health Care and Quality of Life

DaVita and the NKF Join Forces to Improve Health Equity in Kidney Transplantation
Pilot program to provide education and support for kidney patients seeking living donors

New York, NY, June 10, 2021 – DaVita Kidney Care and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) today announced their collaboration in launching an innovative, yearlong pilot aimed at improving health equity in kidney transplantation with a newly-developed program within NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform. 

“Many people never find a living donor simply because they are afraid to ask,” said Kevin Longino, CEO, National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. “NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform helps patients and families learn how to find a living donor and we are grateful to DaVita for their support in helping to reach patients in underserved areas.”

The pilot will take place in Colorado, New York, Minnesota and New Mexico. DaVita and NKF carefully selected these states because each has a unique opportunity to improve health equity in kidney transplantation. In addition, both organizations have a strong, on-the-ground presence in these states, with operational teams that are well connected to the transplant and health care ecosystem. 

NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform empowers kidney patients and families to share the need for a kidney with their community and find a living donor. Through this new pilot program, which offers extensive support and tools in a virtual format, NKF will provide high-touch, in-depth education and support to patients and families seeking a kidney transplant from a living donor. The program includes one-on-one guidance from a trained Patient Navigator, interactive tools on a new web platform, a private online community for program participants, and support from healthcare professionals.

“Finding a living kidney donor is a big deal. NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE program is a tremendous resource to empower patients with the knowledge and confidence to spread the word about their need and have these deeply personal conversations,” said Dr. Jeff Giullian, chief medical officer for DaVita Kidney Care. “We hope that combining NKF’s innovative program with DaVita’s expertise in care delivery will improve health equity among patients receiving transplants from living donors in this pilot.”

More than 500,000 people in the United States are currently living with kidney failure. The only treatment option that allows them to live without dialysis is to receive a transplant. However, there are nearly 100,000 individuals waiting to receive a kidney, with an average wait time of three to seven years for a deceased donor depending on where a person lives. For this reason, many patients with kidney failure can benefit from living organ donation, which typically can take place much sooner. While a kidney from a deceased donor may only remain viable for 8-12 years, a transplanted kidney from a living donor can continue functioning properly for 12-20 years – limiting the potential need for dialysis later in life. 

To learn more about the new pilot program contact nkfcares@kidney.org. To learn more about NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform visit kidney.org/livingdonation. 

To learn more about DaVita’s transplant support, visit DaVita.com/Transplant.

Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure.  Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.

About National Kidney Foundation Living Organ Donation Resources

THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free help line 855-NKF-CARES, peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a living organ donation. www.kidney.org/livingdonation.

About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org

About DaVita Inc.

DaVita (NYSE: DVA) is a health care provider focused on transforming care delivery to improve quality of life for patients globally. The company is one of the largest providers of kidney care services in the U.S. and has been a leader in clinical quality and innovation for more than 20 years. Through DaVita Kidney Care, the company treats patients with chronic kidney disease and end stage kidney disease. DaVita is committed to bold, patient-centric care models, implementing the latest technologies and moving toward integrated care offerings for all. [Through these efforts, DaVita has also become the largest provider of home dialysis in the country.]1 As of March 31, 2021, DaVita served 202,600 patients at 2,827 outpatient dialysis centers in the United States. The company also operated 323 outpatient dialysis centers in ten countries worldwide. DaVita has reduced hospitalizations, improved mortality, and worked collaboratively to propel the kidney care industry to adopt an equitable and high-quality standard of care for all patients, everywhere. To learn more, visit DaVita.com/About.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, including the risks identified in our U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. DaVita disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this press release, except as may be otherwise required by law. 


[1] 2019 NNI Provider Survey.


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