Posted on 2/21/2023
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Drugs Nephrology, led by Part Chief Beth Pellegrino, M.D., is continuous an almost 30-year custom of breaking down limitations to look after kidney sufferers.
Nephrology sufferers, significantly those that want dialysis, usually have a number of medical appointments every week. Some dialysis sufferers require therapy as many as 5 days per week, which may be tough to handle with work, household, and social obligations. This, mixed with the geography and terrain of the state, has the potential to create challenges for sufferers and their caregivers.
Within the Nineties, the Part, led by former Chief Rebecca Schmidt, M.D., began an outreach program that labored with different organizations to create dialysis clinics throughout the state. This drastically diminished journey occasions whereas growing entry to care.
“Dr. Schmidt made the hassle to take our observe ‘off the hill,’ so to talk,” Dr. Pellegrino stated. “Our outreach program began in Moorefield on the request of the group leaders in that space. Since then, that clinic has grown to incorporate a dialysis unit, permitting us to assist sufferers who could or could not require dialysis.”
“Our purpose is to be there for the communities that may not have entry to nephrologists. I feel what we do is a special due to the place we stay. In cities, you see that there are plenty of nephrologists, and there’s competitors for sufferers. However we’re the other right here. I might see as many sufferers as I’m in a position to, and there would nonetheless be a line on the door. We need to enhance entry in as some ways as we will, and we’ve finished that by means of organising clinics, dialysis facilities, and telemedicine.”
This system has grown over time to incorporate clinics in Buckhannon, Elkins, Fairmont, Flatwoods, Glenville, Grafton, Keyser, Moorefield, Morgantown, and Summersville in West Virginia and in Oakland, Maryland. The Part has additionally developed affiliations with dialysis firms Fresenius, DaVita, and IDF to enhance affected person entry in Braxton, Hardy, Marion, Mineral, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, and Upshur counties in West Virginia and Garrett County in Maryland.
“Sufferers on dialysis are very sick and have plenty of medical issues,” Pellegrino stated. “However even earlier than you find yourself on dialysis, you spend plenty of time at physician’s appointments. We needed to make accessing these suppliers simpler for our sufferers.”
Pellegrino credit the success of this program not simply to the amount of clinics they’ve been in a position to open, however to the relationships they’ve been in a position to construct with their sufferers.
“I’m very, very happy with what we’ve finished right here,” Pellegrino stated. “Actually, this has been my life’s work, organising these clinics throughout the state. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky that the Division of Drugs and WVU Drugs have been very supportive to permit us to do this. It’s unimaginable.”
For extra details about Nephrology at WVU Drugs, go to WVUMedicine.org/Nephrology.