DaVita® Medical Insights


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Podcast: Kidney Transplant Advocacy and Innovations

“If living donation is done right, as fortunately it usually is, the donors feel that their lives are improved. It is a life-improving and life-promoting activity for the donors, because as all of us know from life, it is often more gratifying to give a gift that is just right, than to receive a gift that is just right.”

–Dr. Danovitch

For patients who are medically suitable to receive a kidney transplant, the current state of science makes it very likely that they can receive a transplant from a living donor. And even if they need to wait to receive a cadaver transplant, once they receive it, their quality of life and the length of their life will be better than if they stay on dialysis. The kidney transplant success rate is marvelously high. However, prior to transplantation, eligible patients face barriers—ranging from financial and compatibility concerns to lack of consistent transplant education or an unhealthy lifestyle—that can cause them to wait up to 10 years to receive a transplant. Some eligible patients may miss receiving a transplant altogether.

Listen to this podcast, in which Drs. Danovitch and Nissenson discuss the role of nephrologists, care teams and dialysis units in addressing these barriers to kidney transplantation, and new information regarding matches that may allow for more transplants.

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Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF

Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF

Prolific author and renowned authority on kidney disease, Allen R. Nissenson, MD, is chief medical officer for DaVita Kidney Care and emeritus professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he has served as director of the dialysis program and associate dean. Dr. Nissenson is also co-chair of the Kidney Care Partners Quality Initiative. Dr. Nissenson served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow of the Institute of Medicine from 1994–1995 and worked in the office of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. He is a former president of the Renal Physicians Association (RPA), served on the RPA Board of Directors as a special advisor to the president and is a former president of the Southern California End-Stage Renal Disease Network. He is the author of more than 700 scientific papers and the editor of two dialysis textbooks, one in its fourth edition and the other just released in its 5th edition. Dr. Nissenson earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and is the recipient of various awards, including the AAKP Medal of Excellence award, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hemodialysis and the National Kidney Foundation “Man of the Year” award. Twitter: @DrNissenson

Gabriel M. Danovitch, MD

Gabriel M. Danovitch, MD

Gabriel Danovitch, MD, received his medical degree from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital of the University of London. He completed his residency training in London and in Bersheeba, Israel, and his nephrology fellowship training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He served on the faculty at Albert Einstein and then directed the nephrology unit at Soroka Hospital in Israel. He currently holds the John J. Kuiper Chair in Nephrology and Renal Transplantation at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with the academic rank of Distinguished Professor of Medicine and has received the school’s prestigious Mellinkoff Award. He is the longtime Medical Director of its renowned Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program: one of the largest and most successful in the US. Dr. Danovitch has devoted his recent career to various aspects of clinical kidney transplantation. He has published over 200 original articles and 50 book chapters. He has mentored a generation of transplant physicians and leads the UCLA AST/ASN kidney transplant medicine fellowship since its inception. Dr. Danovitch is an internationally recognized authority on transplant immunosuppression, clinical transplant care, transplant ethics and public policy. He has served on the board of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the United Network for Organ Donation (UNOS) and is the past Chair of its International Relations committee. He served as Secretary of The Transplantation Society (TTS) and is a founder member of the Custodian Group of the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism (DICG). He is Medical Director of OneLegacy, the Organ Procurement Agency of Southern California. His classic textbook, the “Handbook of Kidney Transplantation”, now in its sixth edition and translated into five languages, has become required reading for those entering the field. In 2018 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP Hon).