Renal supportive care

Renal supportive care (also known as renal palliative care) is an extra layer of support that can be provided to all patients with serious kidney disease. The goal of renal supportive care is to attend to the symptoms of kidney disease including itching, fatigue, sleep disturbance, nausea and pain, to name a few. Supportive care also focuses on what is most important to the patient and family to create a care plan that alleviates suffering, addresses fears and worries and helps patients to live the best quality of life possible. This can be provided in the clinic, dialysis unit or while in the hospital.

Over the past four years at UVM, I have worked closely with our nephrologists, fellows, nurses, technicians, dieticians and social workers to build awareness around renal supportive care. I developed workshops to improve communication skills around end-of-life decision making and recently piloted a workshop for dialysis nurses and social workers funded by the American Society of Nephrology. I am fortunate to partner with our Palliative Medicine team to teach communication skills to trainees and other practitioners across the region. I have a dedicated clinic that provides renal supportive care to patients with serious kidney disease. 

My research interests lie in understanding how to best care for older adults with kidney disease, including improving physical function and resilience and communication around serious illness. I frequently work with fellows and residents on scholarly projects.