Cleveland Clinic Nephrologist Earns Federal Grant For Study of Kidney Disease Management

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Three-Year Award Will Allow Study of Effectiveness of Patient Navigators

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011

Cleveland Clinic nephrologist Joseph Nally Jr., MD, has been awarded a three-year, $720,000 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study and develop approaches for disease management for patients with chronic kidney disease.

“Current treatments are effective in slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease, but inadequate awareness among patients and providers has limited the widespread application of these treatments,” said Dr. Nally, who directs the Center for Chronic Kidney Disease in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

The grant will fund clinical trials to test two approaches to improving chronic kidney disease care and outcomes.

“These trials lay the foundation for larger national studies aimed at improving the processes for care and the long-term health of patients with chronic kidney disease,” said Dr. Nally.

The first trial will adapt a patient navigator model, where patients are paired with a non-clinical professional who is trained to identify issues and barriers during the care process, such as insurance, transportation to appointments and communication with caregivers.

The second trial will test enhancements to the electronic health record designed to assist health care providers in identifying and following patients who show signs of deteriorating kidney function.

Chronic kidney disease occurs when an individual experiences gradual loss of kidney function over time that can be caused by a number of conditions, including diabetes or hypertension. It is a large and costly public health concern; the National Kidney Foundation estimates more than 26 million Americans are affected.

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Celebrating its 90th anniversary, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 16 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 155,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

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Kevin Ziegler, 216.636.5876, zieglek2@ccf.org

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