DaVita® Stories

DaVita ‘Icon’ Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

I’ve had the honor of knowing Terry Litchfield and her family for more than 20 years. When I heard she was honored as the 2018 American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology Lifetime Achievement Award, I could not think of a more deserving person.

I met Terry more than 20 years ago when she became the Senior Director of Quality for Baxter’s disease management arm, which later evolved into Lifeline Vascular Care. Terry worked passionately for 20 years with Lifeline to help change the way vascular access care was managed for dialysis patients – she was truly a catalyst in helping shift the paradigm that existed.

Although we first crossed paths at Baxter, kidney care had touched Terry’s life, personally and professionally, long before we met. Through Terry’s work and life experiences she has, in turn, left an indelible impact on thousands of patients.

Terry began her kidney care career in the 1970’s when she was offered a position as the community service representative at the Kidney Foundation of Louisiana. She went on to become the Executive Director at the National Kidney Foundation, and received her Masters of Public Administration with her thesis focused on rehabilitation in kidney patients. It was during this time when she met her husband Bill Litchfield, who was one of the patients she interviewed for her thesis.

Bill, who passed away in 2014, was a patient advocate who left a lasting impact in the kidney care community. He was the longest survivor on dialysis in the U.S., with 46 years of renal replacement, and the first patient to dialyze at home in Texas. Most notably, Bill testified in front of Congress in the 1970s, along with other patients, to help ensure passage of the Medicare Kidney Disease entitlement.

Like Bill, Terry’s passion for patient advocacy sets her apart. Currently, she is President of Access Solutions, an organization dedicated to providing patient advocacy consulting services within the dialysis industry. She continues to shape how patients experience kidney care with many organizations, including the American Association of Kidney Patients, Dialysis Patient Citizens and the Kidney Health Initiative’s Patient and Family Partnership Council. And Terry continues to positively impact our work at DaVita as a consultant to Lifeline Vascular Care.

Simply put, Terry has been and continues to be an invaluable asset to the health care community. She truly embodies the DaVita Spirit, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize her award and continued contributions to the kidney care community.

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 at 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