The Charleston Area DCI clinics came together to support the 2017 Purpose Project, “Kidneys on Ice” held at the Stingrays Hockey game on February 19th. Patients and/or staff from the following clinics participated: Archdale Home and In-center program, Azalea Place, Goose Creek, James Island, Magnolia Court, Port Royal, West Ashley, and our Administrative Office. On Wednesday, February 15th, our dietitian, Vanessa Connally and the NKF representative, Mary Beth King, appeared on our local television show “Lowcountry Live” to promote our event and discuss kidney disease and risk factors. Three hundred tickets were purchased and about 300 t-shirts were distributed. The t-shirts were our advertising tool or walking educational billboard. The purpose of our project was to increase community awareness of kidney disease and to make the public aware of some common risk factors for kidney disease. We partnered with our South Carolina office of the National Kidney Foundation to conduct a “mini” screening for risk factors for CKD. Though we only screened about 20 people attending the game, our volunteers from our screening table talked to at least 100 people about kidney disease and distributed educational information about kidney disease. Additionally, the Stingrays management made several announcements over the loud speaker during the game, informing those in attendance about our project and our screening. Our Kidneys on Ice t-shirts stood out in the stands, making the risks for kidney disease highly visible to all attending the game. The shirt backs listed (with hockey sticks as check marks) the following risk factors: Family History, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Age 60 or older and Obesity. Our kidney risk screening consisted of a health survey, weight and BMI, and blood pressure check. From that point, the screened individuals were given their results and were directed to our consult table where they were able to talk with our nephrology nurse practitioners regarding their screening results. This also provided them with an opportunity to ask our professionals any questions they had about kidney disease. The last table was an information table where information hand-outs were available and raffle tickets for a gift card donated by the NKF were given to those that were screened. An added attraction was our mascot, Captain Kid-ney, who made his rounds in the coliseum, posed for pictures and afforded an opportunity for his companion to explain who he was and what we were doing at a hockey game. Our mascot even skated during intermission and once again provided an opportunity to spotlight kidney disease.
Some notable numbers:
- Official Stingray game attendance: 3,518.
- Volunteers at the game: 22
- Dialysis friends and families and patients in attendance/purchased tickets: Around 300
- Walking educational billboard shirts distributed: 287
- Stingrays give-back program: $750 donated to the Patient Services fund
Many thanks to our volunteers from DCI—patients and staff—MUSC/DCI Nurse practitioners, NKF, and the Charleston Stingrays Hockey organization who made special accommodations for our patients, space for our screening tables, and took several opportunities during the game to announce our presence and purpose.