DaVita Stories

Teammates Helping Improve Patient’s Quality of Life and Nutrition

How many of your patients watch cooking shows during treatment? Seems we’re all fascinated with food, cooking shows and celebrity chefs. Have you taken a picture of your food with a smart phone lately? Perhaps you’re on the foodie bandwagon too! What we eat is important. But when changes in those choices are required due to chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease patients are challenged to apply dietary restrictions to manage health while still enjoying food.

Dialysis patients and those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are faced with balancing protein, potassium and phosphorus and sodium. As they progress from CKD to dialysis there are changes in nutrient requirements, adding to their dietary confusion. Plus many have additional disease that further complicate food selection.

One thing we can do to support our patients and their caregivers is to share tools and resources that provide dietary assistance including those available on DaVita.com. Since 2004 DaVita has invested in creating these resources for all the kidney community to share. They include:

  • DaVita Diet Helper™ online meal planner and tracker
  • DaVita’s Today’s Kidney Diet online cookbook collection
  • Kidney-friendly recipes (1,000+) for CKD, ESRD and diabetes
  • Kidney Diet Tips blog
  • Health portal for DaVita dialysis patients with nutrition related labs and messaging
  • Diet and nutrition articles
  • Nutrition games and quizzes
  • Discussion forums
  • Recipe and nutrition videos

Many of these resources can be shared with patients who do not have computer access. And many of them are easy to access by phone or tablet—the way over 60 percent of patients access the website. Availability of online tools and resources has brought recognition to DaVita as a primary and trusted source for kidney disease education. We have helped kidney patients better understand their diets and deal with food challenges.

The positive impact on patient quality of life and clinical data, both observed and through patient testimonials, continues to drive DaVita’s dedicated focus to educate, engage and empower kidney patients and their loved ones. The future will bring even more help.

Adapted from Educate, Encourage and Empower: Helping Improve Quality of Life and Nutrition for Patients with Kidney Disease  By Debbie Benner, MA, RD, CSR, Vice President of Clinical Support and Patient Alignment at DaVita Inc. and Sara Colman Carlson, RDN, CDE, Manager, DaVita.com Nutrition, DaVita Inc. published in the Chamber of Commerce Building a Business-led Culture of Health and Food Security

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.