08 Nov 3-ways-education-impacts-community



We asked three of our REACH Kidney Care coordinators why community education was so important. Here’s what they had to say…


Sharon Cooper, REACH Kidney Care coordinator in Albany, GA, knows about community involvment. This summer, she and her team participated in six community events! Of the experience, Sharon said, “Community outreach has impacted our program profoundly. At first, I was surprised by the lack of knowledge about high blood pressure and diabetes in our community. Because of this, we encourage everyone we meet to talk with their doctor and look at their lab results. Discussing the risk factors for kidney disease and emphasizing the importance of self-care are two of the biggest ways we can impact our community. We teach people that the earlier they detect kidney disease, the earlier they slow down the progression of it.”

stephaniesutherlandKidney Day at the Capital provided renal healthcare workers the opportunity to advocate for patient needs, such as transportation and dental care.  Stephanie Sutherland, REACH Kidney Care coordinator of Columbia, MO, attended along with some DCI staff. “It was a great learning opportunity for me,” she shared. “I was able to meet with other seasoned professionals to discuss how we could collaborate to help meet the needs of kidney patients. Participating in outreach like this is a great way to let healthcare providers and patients know about REACH services offered in their area.  Healthcare professionals think the REACH program is great, but more importantly, the patients who hear about it  and later make an appointment, feel it is invaluable.”


Glenda Gary, REACH Kidney Care Coordinator in Montgomery, AL, spoke at the monthly MACOA (Montgomery Area Council on Aging) meeting this October. The MACOA group is made up of men and women aged 55 or older. “I was given the opportunity to inform this group about the services we provide and how clients are referred to REACH,” she shared. “Community outreach has impacted my REACH program by providing me the opportunity to plant seeds of information to diverse groups of people. I enjoy educating people about the ‘world’ I have worked in for 28 years. Unless people are affected by kidney disease they seem to know very little. If I can make a difference in one person’s life by helping them to manage their chronic disease and avoid dialysis, then I have truly made a difference.”