Kidney Care Program
Helping kidney patients connect
Kidney Care Program Services
The regional Kidney Care Program (KCP) provides a continuum of services that includes:
A Renal Clinic is currently located at the St. Catharines Site. This clinic supports patients who have been identified as having kidney disease, as well as those who may be at risk of developing kidney failure. The clinic team provides education, life style management counselling, treatment and supports patients in making independent choices about health, lifestyle and treatment options for the present and the future.
Independent Therapy Clinic
An Independent Therapy Clinic is currently located at the St. Catharines Site. This clinic supports patients in making choices in managing their kidney health if kidney disease progresses to the point where replacement therapy is necessary. Choices include Home Dialysis – Peritoneal or Hemodialysis, Kidney Transplant, Health Centre Dialysis, or conservative comfort treatment and palliative care.
Our expert clinicians work with patients and families, empowering and supporting them in making choices that fit their lifestyle, their goals and their challenges. Our philosophy is patient centred, embracing the diversity that every individual brings to their care. Our goal is to have all patients participate in care decisions and treatment as much as possible.
This clinic also provides ongoing education, support, and monitoring for patients who are receiving treatment in their home, seeing these patients routinely to evaluate therapy and manage issues.
Only your Primary Care Provider – Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner can refer you to our program. If you think that you should be referred, speak to your Provider about your concerns.
In-Centre Hemodialysis Unit
The region has three distinct Kidney Care sites: the Niagara Falls Kidney Care Center (18 dialysis stations), the St. Catharines Site (30 dialysis stations), and the Welland Hospital Site (24 dialysis stations).
Although we hope that all patients are able and will choose to receive therapy in their home, some require the support of a clinical team to facilitate or assist with care. With a total of 72 hemodialysis stations, the NHS KC Program supports nearly 400 patients who require hemodialysis three to five times per week in a supportive care setting.
If you are a patient from another region wanting to book dialysis in order to travel – email us.
For more information on transient dialysis contact:
Laura Morrison, Clinical Manager Out-patient Dialysis at 905-378-4647 Ext. 46119
Transplant Referral Service
Transplant Referral Service is located at the St. Catharines Site. The NHS KC Program refers patients and families interested in transplantation to partner organizations in Hamilton, London and Toronto. Initial discussion and review takes place within our clinic, but full transplant suitability evaluation occurs at one of the partner Regional Transplant Centres.
In-patient Regional Nephrology
In-patient Regional Nephrology beds are located at the St. Catharines Site. Although we work with our patients to optimize their health, when hospitalization is required, we have dedicated Nephrology (Kidney) beds. These acute care beds support patients who require temporary 24-hour access to specialized renal care.
Members of your healthcare team
As a patient or family member, you will meet many professionals on your health care journey. Our team will work closely with you, your family and friends in order to provide individualized care that meets your goals for health.
Our goal as members of your healthcare team is to help you manage your health and meet your personal goals.
Your Nephrologist is a doctor who is a kidney expert. Your Nephrologist will partner with you and support you in achieving optimal health. Should you require hospitalized care, your Nephrologist will ensure that your care is consistent with your health plan. Your Nephrologist will also support your recovery and transition out of the hospital. You may see other specialist doctors such as an Urologist, or a Vascular Surgeon.
As an academic (teaching) hospital in partnership with McMaster University and Brock University, we also have medical learners (called Residents and Fellows) who may be involved in your treatment plan.
Renal Nurse Navigator
Your Renal Nurse Navigator (RNN) is an expert in all treatment options for renal illness. You may meet the RNN when you are initially referred to the program. The RNN will assist you in navigating the health care system to obtain the information and care that you need to make decisions regarding your health. The RNN will be your educator and your guide to ensure that you have the opportunity to explore all options related to your care, as your illness evolves, but before you need dialysis. The RNN will introduce other members of the team to your care, as they are required to support your goals.
Primary Care Nurse
Our Primary Care Nurse (PCN) is an expert in kidney care and works with you and your Nephrologist. You may see a PCN in one of the clinics, in the dialysis unit and in the hospital. Your PCN knows your medical history and works with the other members of your healthcare team to support and plan your care. Special Care Nurses such as Hemodialysis Nurses, Peritoneal Dialysis Nurses, Vascular Access Nurses and Nephrology Nurses may also assist you depending on your situation. These are Registered Nurses who will support you in learning about your specific kidney problem and how to manage it. These experts may also assist with your dialysis treatments, and teach you how to manage your treatment and general lifestyle.
As an academic (teaching) hospital in partnership with McMaster University, Brock University, and local colleges we also have nursing learners who may be involved in your treatment plan.
Your Dialysis Technologist is an expert in managing the technical components of your kidney care. While the technologists may be seen in the main unit, they are often working in the background to ensure that our water system is running properly and that the water we deliver meets the standards for Dialysis in Canada. In addition, the techs repair our dialysis machines and perform regular maintenance on the units in order to ensure that our entire machine fleet is functioning within standards. Patients who are going home to dialyze will receive routine support from a member of our technical team.
As an academic (teaching) hospital in partnership with McMaster University, and local colleges we occasionally have technical learners who may be involved in your treatment plan.
In addition to nurses and technologists, you will see a team of renal aides in the hemodialysis unit. These members of your team keep your environment clean, ensure that you have the items needed for your care, and assist with managing and preparing your dialysis machine.
Your Social Worker will support you and your family in managing some of the changes that may come with your kidney illness. Kidney disease can result in changes in your life, beyond your health. For example, it may affect your work situation, your living arrangements or your financial situation. Your Social Worker can help you and your family manage these changes, and assist you in navigating issues as they arise.
Your Dietitian will support you and your family as you learn about a specialized diet to optimize your health. As an expert, your Dietitian understands the complex relationship between what you eat and drink and how this impacts your blood work and your health. Diet is a very important part of your treatment plan. Together, you will work out a diet plan that fits your lifestyle.
Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist
If you need to be admitted to hospital, you may also work with a Physiotherapist (PT) and/ or an Occupational Therapist (OT) who will support you in learning ways to balance and manage activity and day-to-day mobility. The PT and OT often work together to ensure that you have the equipment required to optimize your health and manage your lifestyle.
A Chaplain can provide spiritual, emotional and religious support for you and members of your family. You do not need to follow any faith to use this service. The Chaplain can help you adjust to the changes in your health.
Take control of your health
Chances are that if you have searched for this website, you or someone you care about has been told that they are at risk for, or have kidney disease. Kidney disease can be the result of a variety of health issues and while anyone can develop kidney disease; those at highest risk are individuals with high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes. This website will support you to find some information about kidney disease with a goal of optimizing health and empowering patient-directed decision making.
- Ontario Renal Network
The Ontario Renal Network (ORN) leads a province-wide effort to better organize and manage the delivery of renal services in Ontario.
- Ontario Renal Plan
Ontario’s 26 Regional Chronic Kidney Disease Programs together with the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are crucial to the delivery of well-coordinated CKD services to all Ontarians as close to home as possible. Learn about the three-year vision for renal care in Ontario.
- Kidney Foundation of Canada
The Kidney Foundation of Canada is people working together for a common cause. We are volunteers, individuals living with kidney disease, donors, and staff members — from all walks of life, all across Canada. Click on “Publications” to view the patient manuals, brochures and fact sheets.
- The Kidney School
A comprehensive online education program for people who want to learn how to manage and live with chronic kidney disease. Developed to offer up-to-date research based information, help people learn what to expect and what questions to ask, provide self-care tools to optimize health.
Provides information and support options for patients, families and caregivers impacted by kidney disease.
myDaVita.com is an online resource to help you understand and manage your kidney care.
- Life Options
Life Options is a program of research, research-based education, and outreach to help people live long and live well with kidney disease. A national panel of doctors, researchers, patients, nurses, social workers, dietitians, and ESRD Network directors reviews all Life Options materials and helps guide research.
- National Kidney Foundation
A non-profit health organization dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving health and well-being of individuals and families impacted by kidney disease. Click on “Patient and Family Education.”
- My Blood Pressure Action Plan
Offered by the Heart & Stroke Foundation- This Action Plan will help you achieve and manage a healthy blood pressure.
- David Gregory Foundation
An important partner to our program, supporting our patients.
Health Program Director, Regional Kidney Care Program All Sites
Phone: 905.378.4647 ext. 43131 Email: Martin.Ruaux@niagarahealth.on.ca