DaVita® Medical Insights

2020 Nurse Leadership Meeting Recap

DaVita has hosted its annual Nurse Leadership Meeting (NLM) since 2018, where the top nurse leaders within DaVita come together to share new ideas and concepts on how to better nephrology nursing at an industry scale.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DaVita leadership team worked hard to find innovative and safe ways to keep the conference on the calendar and decided that the first virtual NLM would take place on August 5. This year’s theme was The Year of the Nurse: 200 Years of Caring, recognizing the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Nearly 100 attendees joined the full day of sessions from across the United States to learn more about developing a comprehensive strategy to lead through tough times, achieving exemplary patient safety and outcomes, the investments DaVita is committed to making in nursing and more. Attendees heard from DaVita and industry thought leaders, including Chief Nursing Officer Mandy Hale, DNP, MSN, RN, Senior Vice President, Dave Maughan, Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Giullian, MD, Chief People Officer Kenny Gardner and adult clinical practice and professional development expert Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, CMSRN.

Many of the participants had attended NLM before, and noted that this year’s event, amidst a global pandemic, left many with needed inspiration and a sense of hope regarding the future of kidney care. A few nurses shared their favorite experiences or key learnings from the virtual conference below.

  • “I thought the virtual meeting was phenomenal. I love to travel, so It was hard not being able to attend in person and see all of my colleagues face to face; however, given the current pandemic, it was so wonderful that DaVita still made this meeting happen. The agenda was as organized as though it were an in-person meeting, and I thought it flowed so well. I left the meetings with the same sense of belonging and accomplishment, and even a rejuvenated sense of why I am a nurse that I feel with the previous meetings. Some key takeaways I had from this year’s NLM meeting are that nurses really step up for their communities when needed and are a selfless species. I feel that a sense of team and belonging is so essential, especially now.” – Annie Reeves, MSN, RN
  • “This annual conference is all about advancing nursing practice in DaVita and spreading ripples to our larger communities. I feel so blessed that in a time that they could have easily canceled or moved it, DaVita still found a way to go forward and make it an engaging and motivating meeting. We are all facing stressors that are extreme and challenging in our clinics and personal lives, but our nursing leadership is still striving to support our nurses. It shows that they are really looking to see what is important to our teams and how can they meet our needs and questions. This is a team that is here for us and leading from the front every day. I still love the camaraderie and networking we get in person, but this was still very special and I am proud of all the hard work went into our national NLM, The Year of the Nurse!” – Barbara Bales, RN
  • “I have been privileged to attend all three NLMs, starting with the first in 2018. I think this year’s meeting was great! I’d like to give a huge shout out to the technical crew that delivered it seamlessly. It was at least as interactive as a live meeting, with Q&A after each speaker and a chat box running throughout the day. DaVita is invested in its nurses. We are leaders capable of greatness and DaVita is there to support us. It felt really good to come together as a community. Right now, the world needs us more than ever, which means we need each other more than ever.” – Sandra Cox, RN
  • “The 2020 NLM was an experience that was akin to lighting a tinder box afire with flames of inspiration, fellowship and enthusiasm. In a world currently overshadowed with COVID-19, the 2020 NLM shone as a bright beacon, illuminating the heart and soul of DaVita. We are truly filled with teammates who want to see, inspire, develop and help others achieve success. After the NLM, I’m all fired up to be the best person I can be and to empower others to do the same.” – Angelo de la Fuente, RN
Amanda “Mandy” Tilton, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNN

Amanda “Mandy” Tilton, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNN

Mandy Tilton, DNP, MSN, RN, chief nursing officer for DaVita, leads the nursing strategy at DaVita Kidney Care. She started with DaVita in 2001 as a patient care technician while completing nursing school, and after graduation, served as clinical coordinator, then facility administrator and then regional operations director. These responsibilities included all modalities and both chronic and acute dialysis. She has served as chairwoman of the Nurses & Technician Council for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and is currently on the board of directors. Mandy has delivered multiple clinical and operational presentations to groups in the kidney care industry. Mandy holds an associate’s in nursing degree from Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois, and a bachelor of science in nursing and a master of science in nursing degree from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Additionally, she earned her MBA from Lewis University. She obtained her doctorate of nursing practice degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and currently serves and adjunct faculty for the University.